Skip to main content

Full text of "Biographical History of North Carolina from Colonial Times to the Present"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 




Si'lan.,^ .^ J-^lr-^CT 

(ogmpfjitai I *istorp 

of I fovtl) \ ;.arolind 

r.r.;i L'-'.o: .1 1:, 

.V. . 

. c-- * .■■■■ *■■*■.■;. 
• ■■■v.- .•■'■^ . » ■' ■ 

■ ••*?•:.■.■■ ■ •■ ■ • v. 

■' L.'.. ■ ■■. '.^ 


^' / ; 

■>■■ ■ 


of i-Jortl) (_Larolina 

From Colonial Times 
to the Present 


Samuel A. Ashe 

Stephen B. "Weeks 

Charles L. Van Noppen 


C li a r I e s L. Van Noppen 


Greensboro, N. C. 



• ■■ • . ■ •• -'I 

3921 54 A 


R i«-«a J- 


Copyright, 1908 
Bv Charles L. Van Noppen 

All rights reserved 

• • • • • 

; : ••• • 

• • • 

• ••- • 
•• •• 

• ••• • •! 

• • • 


• _• 

\ »•• • • 
" • • • • 

• ••• 

►•• •• 

•• • , 
• •• • 


• ••• 

: ;•;••.•:••• 

Kemp P. Battle . 
John C. Buxton 
Theo. F. Davidson 
Junius Davis 
rufus a. doughton 
Thomas J. Jarvis 
James Y. Joyner . 
*Charles D. McIver 


Jamks H. Southoate 
Charles W, Tili-ett 

Chapel Hill 


. Asheville 

. Wilmington 




. Greensboro 

Wake Forest 


. Charlotte 

Advisory Board vii 

Contents ix 

Portraits xiii 

Contributors xv 

AvTRY, Waightstill I 

^ Avery, Isaac Thomas 7 

Avery, William Waightstill 9 

Avery, Clark Moulton 12 

Avery, Isaac Erwin 14 

Avery, Ali'iioxso Calhoun 18 

Avery, Willougiiby Francis 26 

Avery, Isaac Erwin 29 

■» Ba[>gkr, George EftMUNo 35 

Bovti, George Dillard 45 

Boyd, Andrew Jackson 48 

Br-vnch, John 52 

Rranch, Lawrence O'Bryan 55 

CiiiLDs, Erederick Lynn 6a 

■ Ci.AHK, Walter 67 , 

Cl-vrkson, Heriot 77 

Cramer, Stuart Warren 82 

Dixon, Thomas, Jr 88 

Elli.-;, John Willis 94 


Erwin, Joseph J 102 

Fuller, Edwin Wiley 107 

Gaston, Alexander in 

Glasgow, James 1x5 

Gray, George Alexander 122 

Halling, Solomon 130 

Hill, Daniel Harvey 137 

Hill, Daniel Harvey 145 

Hinsdale, Samuel Johnston 148 

Hinsdale, John Wetmore 153 

Holt, Michael 160 

Holt, William Rainey 172 

Holt, Edwin Michael 181 

Holt, Thomas Michael 190 

Holt, James Henry 196 

Holt, William Edwin 200 

Holt, Lynn Banks 204 

Holt, Lawrence Schackleford 211 

Holt, Walter Lawrence 216 

Holt, Edwin Cameron 219 

Holt, Robert Lacy 222 

Holt, John Allen 225 

Holt, Martin Hicks 229 

Hooper, William 233 

Hooper, William 245 

Hooper, John De Berniere 251 

HosKiNS, Charles 256 

Johnston, Thomas Dillard 260 

Jones, Hamilton Chamberlain 268 

Lamb, Gideon 274 

Lamb, John Calhoun 278 



L\MB, Wilson Gray . 
McClure, Alexandkr Doak 
McDonald, Flora 
McDowell, Ephraim 
McDowell, Charles . 
McDowell, Joseph, Sr. 
McDowell, John . 
McNeill, John Charles 
Mebane, Alexander, Sr. 
Mebane, Giles 
Mebane, Robert Sloan . 
Meserve, Charles Francis 
Mims, Edwin .... 
Parker. Francis Marion 
W^EAcocK, Dred 
Pe.\rson, Robert Caldwell 
Pearson, William Simpson 
F^KRSON, Thomas . 
Powell, Alkxandkr Milne 
Ranev, Richard Beverly 
Robeson, Thomas . 
Robinson, John 
Sh EPARD. William P>iddle 
Smith, William Nathan Harreli 
Smith. Edward Chambers 
Staton, Lycurcis Lafayette 
Stokes, John . 
Ticker. Rufl's Sylvester 
Weldon. Samuel . 
Weston, James Arc.rsTus 
Wheeler, John Hill 


















Whitaker, Spier 47 

Williamson, James Nathaniel 48 

Williamson, William Holt 49 

Williamson, James Nathaniel, Jr 49 

Wilson, Joseph 49 

Yancey, Bartlett 50 



Holt, Edwin M Frontispiece 

A\-ERY, Isaac Thomas facing 7 

Avery, William Waightstill " 9 

A\*ERY, Isaac Erwin " 14 

Avery, Alphonso Calhoun " 18 

Avery, Willoughby Francis ** 26 

'Avery, Isaac Erwin *' 29 

Badger, George Edmund " 35 

Boyd, George Dillard " 45 

Boyd. Andrew Jackson " 48 

Clark. Walter " 67 

Cramer. Stuart Warren *' 82 

Ellis, John Willis *' 94 

Erwin, Joseph J " 102 

Gray. George Alexander " 122 

Hill, Daniel Harvey *' 137 

* Hill. Daniel Harvey " 145 

Hinsdale, Samuel Johnston " 148 

' Hinsdale, John Wetmore " 153 

Holt, William Rainey *' 172 

Holt. Thomas Michael " 190 

Holt. James Henry ** 196 

Holt, William Edwin " 200 

Holt. Lynn Banks " 204 


Holt, Lawrence Schackleford facing 211 

Holt, Walter Lawrence " 216 

Holt, Edwin Cameron " 219 

Holt, Robert Lacy '* 222 

Holt, John Allen . *' 225 

Holt, Martin Hicks " 229 

Hooper, William ** 233 

Hooper, William ** 245 

Hooper, John De Berniere ** 251 

Johnston, Thomas Dillard ** 260 

Jones, Hamilton Chamberlain ** 268 

Lamb, Wilson Gray * 281 

McClure, Alexander Doak ** 288 

McNeill, John Charles ** 312 

Mebane, Giles ** 335 

Mebane, Robert Sloan '* 339 

Meserve, Charles Francis " 343 

Parker, Francis Marion *' 355 

Peacock, Dred *' 362 

Pearson, Robert Caldweli " 368 

Pearson, William Simpson '* 375 

Raney, Richard Beverly '' 403 

Shepard, William Biddle *' 421 

Smith, William Nathan Harreli ** 429 

Smith, Edw^ard Chambers '* 436 

Staton, Lycurgus Lafayette '* 443 

Tucker, Rufus Sylvester '* 454 

Weston, James Augustus " 464 

Wheeler, John H '* 472 

Whitaker, Spier " 479 

Williamson, James Nathaniel ** 485 

Williamson, William Holt " 490 

Williamson, James Nathaniel, Jr ** 495 

J. C. Abernathy 
Samuel A. Ashe 
William Willaru Ashe 
iJosiAH William Bailev 
John D. Bellamy 
Elizabeth Janet Black 
Joseph P. Caldwell 
Collier Cobb, A.M. 
Frederick K. Couke 
Rev. D. r. Craig, D.D. 
Richard B. Crkecv 
William II. Glasson, Ph.D. 
J. G. De R. Hamilton, Ph.D. 
Marshall De L, Haywood 
Archibald Henderson, Ph.D. 
Martin H. Holt 
B. S. Jkrman 

John C. Kilgo, A.M., D.D. 

William P. McCobkle 

Charles F. McKesson 

John Charles McNeill 

James C. MacRae 

James H. MYROvfiR 

A. Nixon 

E. S. Parker 

E. S. Parker, Jr. 

William S. Pearson, A.B. 

Henry E. Shephekd, LL.D. 

George A. Shuford 

James H, Soutucate, A.B. 

Charles W, Tillett 

Stephkn B.Wef.ks, Ph.D.,LL.D. 

Fanny DeB. Whitaker 

T. E. Whitaker 

John A. M.D. 


hborn at Groton, Conn., May 10, 1741, and died 
Pat Swan Ponds, in Burke County, N. C, in 
^1821. The first of his ancestors who settled in 
vthis country was Christopher Avery, who with 
jhis young son James crossed the ocean in the 
ship Arabella and landed at the place where now stands Boston, 
in the year 1631. 

When James Aver}- grew to manhood he married Joanna Green- 
slade. The youngest of the ten children of his marriage was 
Samuel, who was born August 14. 1664, and married Susanna 
Palmes, daughter of William Palmes, of the province of Munster, 
Ireland, on October 27, 1686. William Palmes married Miss Ann 
Humphrey, wlio was a daughter of Sir John Humphrey, of Lynn, 
Mass. Dr. Elroy McK. Avery, who is now writing a "History 
of the United States," is also preparing a second edition of the 
"Averys of Groton." He has received in recent years a duly certi- 
fied statement from the proper custodian of records in England, 
which traces the genealogical line of Ann Humphrey tJirough a 
number of earls and tJirough Edward I. II and III, and through 
Henry HI. kings of England, and through King .\!fred to Egbert, 
the first king of Englaiid. 

Humphrey Avery, the sixth child of Samuel Avery and Su- 
sanna Palmes, who was bom July 4, 1699, married Jenisiia Mor- 


gan and had twelve children. The tenth son, Waightstill Avery, 
is the subject of this sketch. Waightstill Avery and his younger 
brother, afterward Rev. Isaac Avery, were prepared for college 
by Rev. Samuel Seabury (father of Samuel, the first Episcopal 
bishop in America, who, when he was ordained bishop in Scot- 
land, took with him Isaac Avery to be ordained a minister). 
Waightstill Avery graduated at Princeton (then called the College 
of New Jersey) in 1766, and taught in the college for a year after 
graduating. A book recently published shows that he was awarded 
the first honor in his class and delivered the Latin salutatory. 
Oliver Ellsworth, afterward chief justice of the Supreme Court 
of the United States, was his classmate, roommate, and lifelong 
friend. He read law with Lyttleton Dennis, a prominent lawyer 
of Maryland, and came to North Carolina in 1769. He entered 
the colony at Edenton, with letters of introduction, as his journal 
shows, to her most prominent men, and, beginning with Iredell 
and Hewes at that place, he mentions in it the leading men whom 
he met as he came west. He met Fanning at Salisbury, with 
whom he formed a friendship that lasted some years. He found 
in Mecklenburg Dr. Ephraim Brevard, Adlai Osborne, and Rev. 
Hezekiah J. Balch, all of whom he had known at Princeton. 
He settled at Charlotte, and was a boarder at the house of Heze- 
kiah Alexander, where he lived until 1778, when he married and 
removed to Jones County. He was an early and ardent friend 
of liberty, and was doubtless an active promoter of the move- 
ment which culminated in the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence on May 20, 1775, as the minutes of the Council of 
Safety and many other public documents show. He signed that 
immortal embodiment of patriotic principle and defiant spirit. 
Colonel Avery's learning, talent, and wisdom made him at once 
a leading man in Mecklenburg. He was elected a member from 
Mecklenburg to the Provincial Congress, which met at Hillsboro, 
August 21, 1775, and also a member of the Congress that met 
at Halifax, November 12, 1776, and formed the first state consti- 
tution. He was one of the committee who drew and reported the 
provisions of our first organic law, under which our ancestors 


lived for sixty years. The late Governor Swain, who had more 
thorough knowledge of the history of our State than any man 
of his day, asked a grandson of Waightstill Avery in 1867 ^^ ^^ 
knew the handwriting of his grandfather, and said that if he did, 
he would find from an examination of the archives at Raleigh 
(pointing at the time to where they were stored away), that 
more of the Constitution of 1776 was in the handwriting of 
Waightstill Avery than in that of any other member of the com- 
mittee appointed to draft that instrument. Especially is it under- 
stood that he was the author of the clause requiring the legis- 
lature to establish one or more universities. 

After the formation of the state government he was elected 
to the first General Assembly, which met at New Bern in 1777, 
and by that body was made first attorney-general of North Caro- 
lina. He met at Xew Bern, and married, in 1778, a young widow, 
Leah Franks, who was a daughter of William Probart. His wife 
had a large farm in Jones County, upon which he settled. Her 
mother was the daughter of Sir Yelverton Peyton, of Maryland, 
from whom descended the family of Peytons, well known in 
Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. 

In 1779 he resigned the office of attorney-general and accepted 
that of colonel of the militia of Jones County, in place of Nathan 
Br>an, resigned. In this capacity he was engaged for more than 
two years or until Cornwallis went to Yorktown. In 1781 he 
employed Harvey Williams, the father of the banker, George 
Williams, of Charleston, S. C, to take charge of his wife and 
two little daughters and his negroes, and remove them to Swan 
I'onds in Burke County, X. C, which place he had bought from 
'"Hunting John" McDowell, of Pleasant Gardens. He joined 
his family late in the year 1781, after it became apparent that 
our ancestors had won their independence. 

In 1780, while Cornwallis was occupying Charlotte, he caused 
Colonel Avery's office, with his books and papers, except such as 
were in the house of his friend Hezekiah Alexander, to be 
burned. This evidence of displeasure was visited upon only a 
few of those whom Cornwallis considered leading ofifenders. 


Colonel Avery was not a stranger to the people of Burke 
County, and hence, after his removal to that county, represented 
it in the house of commons in 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785, and 1793, 
and in the senate in 1796. In the year 1801 he was rendered 
helpless in his lower limbs by paralysis, but continued to practice 
his profession from Raleigh to Jonesboro (now Tennessee) until 
a few years before his death, in 1821. He had been rendered 
speechless by a third stroke of paralysis some months before the 
first account of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence 
was published in the North Carolina papers, and hence we are de- 
prived of the benefit of his testimony as to that instrument. It 
was only when the Declaration was printed that such men as 
General Graham began to realize the importance of the move- 
ment as evincing the dogged and daring spirit that animated the 
people of Mecklenburg. They had never learned before to look 
upon that movement through the glasses of the succeeding gen- 
eration, and had never realized that they had been actors in 
one of the grandest scenes in our history. 

The family of Colonel Avery, except his brother, Rev. Isaac 
Avery, who also came south, remained in New England and 
were all patriots. In a letter to Colonel Avery from his 
brother Solomon, written July 11, 1783, the latter said: '^Eleven 
Averys were killed in the fort at Groton and seven wounded. 
Many Averys have been killed in this county, but there have been 
no Tories named Avery in these parts." The monument at Fort 
Griswold erected to those who were killed there by Benedict 
Arnold's men has inscribed upon it more names of Averys than 
of any other family. Solomon Avery was the great-grandfather 
of John D. and William E. Rockefeller, the multi-millionaires. 

Rev. Isaac Avery came as far south as Virginia, where he 
preached at Norfolk and at Bethel. He was colonel of a Virginia 
regiment from Northampton County, and held the office of 
lieutenant of that county, a position which made him, under the 
laws of that State, the ranking officer of the county. One of his 
daughters married John Murphy, the only son of James Murphy, 
who distinguished himself as a soldier at Ramseur's Mill, King's 


Mountain and Cowpens. Margaret Stringfellow Murphy was 
the mother of Mrs. Thomas G. and Mrs. William M. Walton, 
who reared large families in Burke County; of Mrs. Loretta 
Gaston, who married General Alexander F. Gaston, the only son 
of Judge Gaston ; and by a subsequent marriage was the mother 
of Dr. W. A. Collett, of Morganton. 

Colonel Waight still Avery was one of the most thorough 
and accurate lawyers in the State. In one of the earliest vol- 
umes of the ''North Carolina Reports," when law books were not 
very abundant, one of the judges said in an opinion that he had 
been unable to find authority upon a certain point, but rested 
his decision upon what Colonel Avery told him was laid down 
in a volume which the latter had in his private library. Governor 
Swain said that, until the time of his death. Colonel Avery had 
the most extensive library in western North Carolina. He was 
a thorough classical scholar, and during the war for indepen- 
dence and after it was ended bought, as entries on blank leaves 
show, copies of many of the works of the Latin writers, and en- 
tertained himself, even after his second stroke of paralysis, read- 
ing them in the original. 

One of the evidences of the subserviency of all classes of men 
to an unfortunate public sentiment was found in the fact that 
Colonel Avery, an avowed Presbyterian of Puritan extraction, 
accepted a challenge from Andrew Jackson, then a young lawyer 
at Jonesboro court, went on the field, and allowed Jackson to shoot 
at him. though he did not return the fire. After Jackson had fired 
Culoney Avery walked up to him and delivered him a lecture. 
Jackson had known Colonel Avery in Mecklenburg, and had ap- 
plied to him for board in his family and instruction as a law stu- 
dent. This was after Colonel Avery came to Burke in 1781. 
Colonel Avery had declined to take charge of him as a student 
because he was living in a small house in the country and had 
no room for boarders, whereupon Jackson went to Salisbury and 
read law with Spruce Macay. 

Colonel Waightstill Avery was a gentleman of the old school, 
and wore knee-breeches, powdered wig and full dress of the time 



of Washington up to his death. He was a man of great dignity 
of demeanor, but was remarkably courteous in his language and 
manner, even toward young people. Writing of him when he 
first came to the State, Wheeler says : '*He was truly an acquisi- 
tion to any State. He was a gentleman and a scholar." 

Colonel Avery had four children — three daughters and a son. 
His daughter Elizabeth married William Lenoir, settled at Lenoir 
City, Tenn., and was the founder of a large and influental 
family, now scattered from Bristol to Chattanooga- His daugh- 
ter Louisa married Thomas Lenoir, another son of his old friend, 
General William Lenoir, and settled first on Pigeon River, in Hay- 
wood Count V, and afterward at Fort Defiance, the old Lenoir 
homestead. The other daughter married first a Mr. Poor, and 
then Mr. Summev, and lived on Mills River, in Henderson 

\V . S. Pearson. 






district. He was a man of strong convictions and much firmness 
and energy, united with broad views and excellent judgment. He 
was cashier of the Morganton branch of the state bank for many 
years, and in addition managed an extensive landed estate. He 
devoted all his leisure time to reading and was well informed upon 
many subjects. His nature was social, and nothing pleased 
him more than to dispense a lavish hospitality. 

He reared and educated a large family and left an extensive 
landed estate. He was bowed down with grief near the end of 
his life for the loss of his three oldest sons, who had fallen in 
battle within one year (from July, 1863, to July, 1864). 

A. C. Avery, 






Morehead, a beautiful and accomplished lady and a daughter of 
the late Governor Morehead. 

He served in the house of commons as a member from Burke 
in 1850 and 1852, and in 1856 he was chairman of the North Car- 
olina delegation in the National Democratic Convention which 
nominated President Buchanan, and during the same year was 
elected to the state senate, of which he was chosen speaker. 

In 1858 he was a candidate for Congress, to fill the vacancy 
made by the appointment of Hon. T. L. Clingman as United 
States senator. Colonel David Coleman, who was also a Demo- 
crat, opposed him. Although the district had given Mr. Buchanan 
a very small majority in the election in 1856, the dissension was 
such that Z. B. Vance, a Whig, was elected. 

In i860 W. W. Avery was again chairman of the North Caro- 
lina delegation in the National Convention at Charleston, and 
seceded with the Southern wing of the party, which afterward 
nominated Mr. Breckinridge. He was made chairman also of the 
committee on platform. During the same year he was again elected 
to the state senate, and declined the renomination for speakership 
in favor of his friend H. T. Clark, of Edgecombe, who became 
governor after the death of Governor Ellis, in the summer of 
1861. When Lincoln was elected, in November, i860, being a 
lifelong believer in the right of secession, he favored immediate 
action by the State, and urged the call of a convention during 
the winter of i860 and 1861. 

After the State seceded, on May 20, 1861, he was elected by 
the convention one of the members of the Provisional Congress. 
He served in that body until the provisional government was suc- 
ceeded by the permanent government, provided for in the consti- 
tution of the Confederacy, adopted in 1862. He was a member 
and chairman of the committee on military affairs. A majority 
of the Democrats in the Legislature of 1861 voted for Mr. Avery 
for senator in the Congress of the Confederate States, but a 
minority supported Hon. T. L. Clingman, while the Whigs voted 
for a candidate from their own party. After balloting for several 
weeks, a compromise was made by electing Hon. W. T. Dortch. 


After the expiration of his term in Congress, in 1862, he re- 
turned to his home with authority from President Davis to raise 
a regiment, but was prevented from carrying out his purpose by 
the earnest protest of his aged father and four brothers, who were 
already in active service. They insisted that he was beyond age 
for service and that it was his duty to his family and country to 
remain at home. He was an earnest and active supporter of the 
Confederate cause, and contributed liberally to the maintenance 
of the soldiers and their families. 

In 1864 an incursion was made by a party of so-called Union- 
ists from Tennessee. This party after capturing a small body of 
conscripted boys, in camp of instruction about four miles east of 
Morganton, in Burke County, retreated toward Tennessee. Mr. 
Avery joined his friend Colonel T. G. Walton, and with a small 
body of Burke County militia and a few soldiers on sick or 
wounded furlough pursued the invading party, who retreated 
toward the mountains. They were found intrenched in a strong 
position on the Winding Stairs on Jonas' Ridge. Mr. Avery and 
his party vigorously attacked them, and in the encounter he was 
mortally wounded. After being removed to his home in Morgan- 
ton, he died July 3, 1864. 

In all the relations of life he was distinguished for his kindness 
and affability and his unselfish love for the comfort and happiness 
of others. Few men have ever been more missed and lamented 
by the community in which he lived. His aged father (then in his 
eightieth year) went down to his grave sorrowing for the loss of 
his three sons, who had fallen within one year. Mr. Avery left 
surviving him three daughters — Mrs. Annie H. Scales, of Patrick, 
Va., wife of Captain Joseph Scales; Mrs. Cora Avery Erwin, 
wife of Captain G. P. Erwin, of Morganton, and Adelaide, who 
married Hon. John J. Hemphill, a representative in Congress 
from South Carolina, but died soon after her marriage ; and two 
sons — ^John Morehead Avery, now a prominent lawyer of Dallas, 
Texas, and Waightstill W. Avery, who resides in Mitchell County, 
^»• C. A, C. Avery, 


J was born October 3, 1819, and died June 19, 
4, of wounds received at the Wilderness. 
J His left arm was amputated soon after the 
^battle, and when his broken right leg was 
J being cut off, some weeks later, he died 
under the operation. He was the second of the six sons of Colonel 
Isaac T. and Harriet E. Avery that lived to years of maturity. 

He was a graduate of the University of North Carohna and a 
man of the most pleasing address. He was fond of the society 
of young people, entered with zest into their amusements, and 
was a great favorite with the boys. He did not desire office, 
though he was one of the most popular and probably the most in- 
fluential man in Burke County. He had strong convictions upon 
all questions, and invariably acted upon them in elections. He 
was prevailed upon by his friends to run for the convention at the 
election on February 28, 1861, and was elected a delegate over 
one of the most popular Unionists in the county by an overwhelm- 
ing majority. The delegates elected did not meet, however, because 
a small majority of the electors of the State voted "no con- 

He was made captain of the first company formed in the county, 
which became Company G of the Bethel regiment and was en- 
gaged in the first battle of the civil war. When that company was 


mustered out of service, at the end of six months, he was ap- 
pointed by the governor of the State lieutenant-colonel of the 
Thirty-third regiment, of which General L. O'B. Branch was 
colonel. Branch was soon commissioned as brigadier-general, and 
Avery became colonel of his regiment His commission as colonel 
was dated early in 1862. He was captured with about half of his 
rtgiment at New Bern, in 1862, and was kept in prison on John- 
son's Island, Ohio, until October of that year. 

His regiment was the equal in drill and discipline of any in the 
army. Under his conmiand it came up to the full measure of its 
duty, and made a history from New Bern to Appomattox of which 
the State should be proud. It was the only regiment in the 
division to which it belonged that was in line ready to meet the 
sudden onset of the enemy at the Wilderness when Grant ad- 
vanced at the dawn of the day. The other r^ments had stacked 
their arms, and the men were many of them lying down on the 
ground asleep. In the attempt, without support, to check the ad- 
vance of the enemy he received the wounds that caused his death. 

No man in the county was kinder or more charitable to those 
in want It was one of his greatest pleasures to dispense an un- 
stinted hospitality and t6 exert all his powers to contribute to the 
enjoyment of his guests. He married Elizabeth Tilghman Walton 
and left surviving him four children — Martha, who married 
George Phifer, a gallant boy soldier, and is the mother of a num- 
ber of rising young sons in North and South Carolina and of two 
daughters. Another daughter, Eloise, married Rev. James Col- 
ton, and was the mother of Moulton Colton, Lizzie Colton, and 
several other children who are rapidly rising as educators. His 
only surviving son, Isaac T. Avery, is a prominent lawyer and 
politician of Burke County. A fourth child is the wife of Rev. 
John A. Gilmer, of Newton, N. C. 

A, C. Avery, 


following message: "Major: Tell my father I fell with my face 
to the enemy. I. E. Avery/^ 

"In June, 1896, I visited Gettysburg and located the place where Colonel 
Avery fell, which was marked by order of the commissioners. The brigade 
moved forward, scaling the heights and occupying the entrenchments of 
the enemy." ("North Carolina Regiments," vol. i., pp. 354, 355.) 

Of this charge Chief Justice Clark wrote in **Five Points in 
the Record of North Carolina in the Great War of 1861-65" as 
follows : 

"That the soldiers of this State went somewhat farther at Gettysburg 
than any others in the third day's battle is so succinctly and clearly shown 
by Judge Montgomery and Captain W. R. Bond in the articles by them that it 
is not necessary to recapitulate. The controverted point . . . was only as 
to that charge, else we could have referred to the undisputed fact that on 
the evening of the second day Hoke's brigade, commanded by Colonel Isaac 
£. Avery (who lost his life in the assault), together with Louisianians from 
Hay's brigade, climbed Cemetery Heights, being farther than any other 
troops ventured during the three days. The following inscriptions placed 
upon tablets locating the position and stating the services of Hoke's brigade 
on the second day and Pettigrew's on the third day amply vindicate the 
justice of our claim. (The tablets also record their glorious services on the 
other days, which are omitted here.) 

Hoke's Brigade 

"Second of July. Skirmished all day and at eight p.m. . . . charged East 
Cemetery Hill. Severely enfiladed on the left by artillery and musketry, 
it pushed over the infantry line in front, scaled the hill, planted its colors 
on the lunettes, and captured several guns. But assailed by fresh forces 
and having no supports, it was soon compelled to relinquish what it had 
gained, and withdrew. Its commander. Colonel Isaac E. Avery, was mor- 
tally wounded leading the charge." 

General Early said in his report : 

"Accordingly, as soon as Johnson became warmly engaged, which was a 
little before dusk, I ordered Hay and Avery to advance and carry the 
works on the Heights in front. These troops advanced in gallant style for 
the attack, passing over the bridge in front of them under a heavy artillery 


fire, and then, crossing a hollow between that and Cemetery Heights, 
moved np the hill in the face of at least two lines of infantry posted behind 
plank and stone fences; but this they drove back, and passing over all 
obstacles, they reached the crest of the hill and entered the enemy's breast- 
woiics, and crossing it, gained the position of one of the batteries. But 
no attack was made on the immediate right, as was expected, and not 
meeting that support from that quarter, these brigades could not hold the 
positkms diat they had attained, because the heavy force of the enemy 
was turned against them from that part of the line, which the divisions 
00 the ri|^t were to have attacked, and these two brigades had, therefore, 
to fall back, which they did with comparatively small loss considering the 
nature of the ground over which they had passed and the immense odds 
opposed to them. 

**...! had to regret the absence of Brigadier-General Hoke, who was 
severely wounded in the action of May 6th at Fredericksburg and did 
not recover, but his place was worthily filled by Colonel Avery, of the 
Sixth North Carolina regiment, who fell mortally wounded while leading 
the charge on Cemetery Hill at Gettysburg on the afternoon of July 2d. 
In his death the Confederacy lost a brave and good soldier." 

The body of Colonel Avery was brought by his faithful servant, 
Elijah Avery, in a cart to Williamsport, where it was buried. But 
some of the over-zealous Confederates, after the war, had it dis- 
interred and removed to some Confederate cemetery. His friends 
have tried in vain to trace the removing party so as to bring his 
remains to North Carolina for final burial. 

A, C. Avery, 


T' • • ■ f • ' • \ .■• ■ JP 
. »- I ■ i^ \ I 1 V. I ,v 

FULll J Li L ■ V A ! 1 Y 



A '•' L- 


FOw'NDA'llC'Na 1 


■• 1 


glistening under the mellow southern sun. The Piedmont, it 
is called, for just so do the Alps rise beyond the fertile plains 
of the Po. 

His boyhood was that of the typical ante-bellum country life, 
quiet and simple, yet vigorous and natural, endowing him with 
perfect health, and hardening a naturally vigorous constitution. 
While his father was wealthy, owning more than one hundred and 
fifty slaves, and reared his sons in cultured surroundings, giving 
than the advantages of the best education which the State af- 
forded, he believed in their knowing the business of farming thor- 
oughly, as that was the chief occupation of southern gentlemen, 
and each of his six sons was raised to follow the plow for at least 
one season. This part of his education completed, the subject 
of this sketch was prepared for collie at the Pingham School at 
Oaks, Orange County, afterward entered the University of North 
Carolina, and graduated with the degree of A.B. in 1857, standing 
first in his class among such men as Colonel Thomas S. Kenan, 
Major Robert Bingham, Judge Thomas N. Hill of Halifax, and 
Hon. W. P. McClain of Texas. The ambitious youth, excelling 
in Latin and mathematics, was not content with his early aca- 
demic laurels. An address of Governor Swain, heard while at 
college, pointing out that judicial positions were the most exalted 
and commonly afforded opportunity for winning the most endur- 
ing reputation, determined the law as a profession. Young Avery 
was not able, however, to exercise his choice at once, and for the 
next two years, until the summer of 1859, he was in that part of 
Yancey County which has since been organized as Mitchell, in 
charge of a grass and stock farm of his father. He then, how- 
ever, began the study of law under Chief Justice Richmond Pear- 
son at Logtown, and within a year, in June, i860, was licensed 
under the old statute regulations to practice in the county courts. 
Although he was prepared to stand his examination for license 
to appear before the superior court, the crisis of the war inter- 
vened, and he hastened to take up arms in defense of his State. 
Before leaving home to join the army he was married on Feb- 
ruary 2T, 1861, to Miss Susan Washington Morrison, daughter 


of Rev. R. H. Morrison, of Lincoln County, and granddaughter 
of General Joseph Graham, of Lincoln. 

His brother, I. E. Avery, was commissioned captain and he was 
appointed first lieutenant of Company E, Sixth North Carolina 
regiment, which he joined in April, 1861, at Charlotte, where the 
regiment was being formed under Colonel Charles F. Fisher. This 
was one of the ten regiments organized at the beginning of the 
war, in which the men enlisted for three years' service. 

The regiment at once proceeded to Virginia, where, after being 
reviewed by President Davis at Richmond, it was hurried forward 
by rail to Strasburg. A forced march was made to Winchester, 
and thence to Manassas, and, within a week after leaving the 
drill camp at Company Shops, N. C, it engaged in the bloody 
battle of Manassas, arriving on the field at a crisis, and was partly 
instrumental in turning defeat into victory. In the first engage- 
ment Colonel Fisher and many other officers and men of the regi- 
ment were slain, and because of its early losses and fine conduct 
the regiment became famous in North Carolina. In the report 
of the battle both Captain and Lieutenant Avery were compli- 
mented for their excellent bearing on the field. 

In 1862, when his brother was promoted to the colonelcy of the 
regiment, Lieutenant Avery became captain of his company, and 
later he was commissioned as major and assistant adjutant-gen- 
eral of General D. H. Hiirs division of the Army of Northern 
Virginia. In 1863, on Hill's transfer to the western army. 
Major Avery accompanied him to Chattanooga, but when General 
Hill return to Richmond, after his disagreement with Bragg, 
Major Avery remained in the West, serving on the staflf of Breck- 
enridge, Hindman and Hood, and being on the staflf of the latter 
in the retreat from Dalton to the Chattahoochee River. Toward the 
end of the war, after the death of two of his brothers, he secured 
permission to return to North Carolina, and was given a commis- 
sion as colonel and the commaftd of a battalion in western North 
Carolina. In April, 1865, just before Johnston's surrender, he was 
captured near Salisbury by General Stoneman, and was a prisoner 
of war at Camp Chase and Johnson's Island until August, 1865. 


In June, 1866, Colonel Avery secured his license to practice be- 
fore the superior court, and at once entered upon the duties of 
his profession. In the fall of the same year he was nominated by 
the Confederate soldiers and elected to the North Carolina senate 
by a large majority from the district formed of Burke, Caldwell, 
and McDowell counties. This was the last legislative body con- 
vened in North Carolina which was elected exclusively by white 

Though the youngest member of the senate, he became a favor- 
ite with older senators, among whom were ex-Governor Clark, 
Judge Moore, Mr. J. H. Wilson, Colonel John W. Cunningham, 
Hon. Mason L. Wiggins, and Colonel Edward Hall, and suc- 
ceeded in originating and securing the passage of laws which 
proved very beneficial to his constituents. The terminus of the 
Western North Carolina Railroad was then at Morganton. The 
charter provided that when solvent individuals should subscribe 
a million dollars or more to the capital stock of the company, the 
governor, upon that fact being certified by the president of the 
company, should cause double the amount so subscribed to be 
paid by the State in its bonds at par ; but the bonds could not be 
sold for more than a song, because the interest was not being paid 
on the outstanding bonded debt of the State. In this emergency 
the young senator conceived the idea of enhancing the value of 
the bonds thereafter to be issued for stock in the company by 
pledging an equal amount of the State's stock in the North Caro- 
lina Railroad Company for the payment of each state bond there- 
after issued, and put his plan into execution by securing the enact- 
ment of chapter 106, Laws of North Carolina of 1866-67. In 
less than six months the grading was let to contract from Morgan- 
ton to Asheville, and within two years was completed to Old Fort. 
This work was paid for almost exclusively out of the proceeds of 
the enhanced bonds issued under the act referred to, though the 
bonds sold for much less than par. The passage of this act gave 
rise to what is known as the "South Dakota Bond Suit," com- 
promised by the State, but it enabled the company to complete 
forty miles of road, extending it almost to the eastern portal of the 


tunnel, and to do much grading on and beyond the Blue 

Two years afterward, although there had been a readjustment 
of the senatorial district, he was again elected on the Democratic 
ticket, but as he had been elected solicitor of Burke County in 
1 86 1, the Republican senate, at the instance of Governor Caldwell, 
decided that he was barred by the provisions of the Thirteenth 
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and his scat 
was refused him. Thereupon he returned to Morganton and again 
took up his profession, acting as counsellor in many important 
cases. Although urged, he declined to be a candidate again for 
the legislature. In 1875 he was elected from Burke County as a 
member of the constitutional convention which revised the state 
constitution. He was one of the foremost members of that dis- 
tinguished body ; was largely instrumental in perfecting its organ- 
ization, in adjusting differences of opinion among its members 
and in drafting the important constitutional amendments it 
adopted, which were always revised and made ready for the 
reports of committees in a Democratic caucus. 

Again, the subject of this sketch, being sent by the citizens of 
Morganton, in 1875, to Raleigh to aid in securing the passage of 
the bill, offered by Captain Mills in the senate, to provide for 
building the asylum at Morganton, found while there that some 
of the creditors of the North Carolina Railroad Company threat- 
ened to disregard a private agreement with Colonel S. McD. Tate 
and refused to settle their claims on the terms provided in Tate's 
bill, whereupon he drew up a resolution, subsequently offered by 
Major Erwin, representative from McDowell County, which 
brought the recusant creditors to terms. This resolution will be 
found on page 405, laws of 1874-75, and provided for reinstating 
and carrying on a suit in equity involving the validity of their 
claims, instituted by Governor T. R. Caldwell in the name of the 
State, in the Circuit Court of the United States, at Greensboro, in 
which a nonsuit had been entered, reserving to the State the priv- 
ilege of reinstating the suit within a given time. The resolution 
eoipowered Governor Brogden and Speakers Armfield and James 


L. Robinson, of the senate and house, respectively, to cause the 
original suit to be reinstated on the docket pending negotiation 
for a compromise with the creditors of the Western North 
Carolina Railroad Company, and the suit was reinstated by 
them. » 

Judge Avery was instrumental in compelling the Wilmington 
and Wddon Railroad Company to submit to taxation. Availing 
itself of the provisions of its charter exempting it from taxation, 
the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad Company successfully re- 
sisted all eflForts in the courts and by legislation to tax its fran- 
chise and property up to January, 1891. The charter of the rail- 
road from Weldon to Petersburg had expired in 1888 and had 
been reenacted for two years only, with the purpose of refusing a 
further reenactment unless the other company would consent to 
pay taxes. But the Wilmington and Weldon people, relying upon 
the authority conferred by several amendments to their charter, 
as well as the general law, defied the Legislature. The Supreme 
Court of North Carolina had held in Railroad vs. Alsbrook, 
1 10 N. C. 137, that the branches of the Wilmington and Weldon 
Railroad, being created by acts passed under the clause of the 
Constitution of 1868, reserving to the State the right to alter 
and amend all charters thereafter enacted, were not exempt from 
taxation, while the charter for the main line, granted in chapter 78, 
laws of 1833-34, contained a provision exempting that line from 
taxation, which it was contended was in the nature of a contract, 
protected from being impaired by the Constitution of the United 
States. At the request of Elias Carr, afterward governor, but 
then at the head of the Farmers' Alliance, Judge Avery, in March, 
1 89 1, drew what was published as chapter 544, laws of 1891, 
which repealed all authority for connecting the line of the Wil- 
mington and Weldon Railroad with the Virginia line between the 
Blackwater and the crossing of the Clarksville Road over the 
state line. The bill was offered by Mr. Jones, of Wake, and was 
passed after a bitter fight in both houses ; but the franchise and 
property of the railroad was on the tax lists for the next and 
subsequent years. Mr. Baylus Cade, who is still living, repre- 


sented Governor Carr in getting the bill from Justice Avery and 
having it offered by Mr. Jones. 

In the presidential election of 1876 Judge Avery was a Tilden 
elector from the eighth congressional district, and made a favor- 
able and extended campaign, being a strong, earnest speaker, and 
exerting a great influence throughout the piedmont region. Two 
years later he was elected judge on the Democratic ticket for the 
eighth judicial district, and served until 1886, when he was re- 
elected as judge of the tenth judicial district, in which position he 
served until January, 1889, when he ascended the Supreme Bench 
of North Carolina, having been elected associate justice in the 
preceding fall. This position he continued to fill until January, 
1897. While on the Supreme Bench, Justice Avery prepared 
many opinions which are noted for iheir breadth of view and the 
rational manner in which he applied his extensive knowledge ol 
the law and cited cases of precedents. At the very outset of his 
service upon the Supreme Bench he rendered marked service to 
the profession by certain decisions in which were crystallized rules 
of practice applicable to issues and the granting of new trials 
upon newly discovered testimony. Later, the rules governing 
negligence, parole trusts, real estate, constitutional law, and other 
questions of importance were simplified and made to cover 
growing conditions of our new civilization. 

In reviewing the dissenting opinion of Justice Avery in Emery's 
case, Mr. Desty, in a legal classic, said the rules governing the du- 
ties of judge and jury in trials of cases involving questions of neg- 
ligence had never been more clearly expressed. 

On the day before assuming the ermine of the Supreme Court 
Bench he was married to his second wife, Miss SalHe Love 
Thomas, a daughter of Colonel W. H. Thomas, of Jackson 
County, and a great-granddaughter of Colonel Robert Love, of 

Judge Avery possesses in a high degree the judicial tempera- 
ment, as would be inferred from the length of time he has been 
judge of the superior and supreme courts, resolute and flexible, 
yet cautious and tempering justice with mercy. The traits which 


he displayed upon the Bench he has carried with him through 
life, for the role of judgeship but displayed his qualities in the 
brighter lig^t of publicity. While an unswerving Democrat, his 
politics have never influenced his judicial opinions, and he was 
fair and impartial in administering justice. By belief and early 
training Judge Avery is a Presbyterian, and he has been an elder 
in the First Presbyterian Church of Morganton for more than 
twenty-five years, and, indeed, he has carried his religion into his 
daily life. At college he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi 
fraternity. He is a Master Mason, an Odd Fellow, a member of 
the Royal Arcanum, and an honorary member of the Junior Order 
of United American Mechanics. In 1889 the University of North 
Carolina conferred upon him the honorary degrees of A.M. and 
LL.D., and the latter degree was likewise conferred by Trinity 
College, North Carolina. 

Judge Avery is a member of the Southern Historical Society. 
He is especially interested in the history of the civil war period, 
and has prepared several sketches and articles covering incidents 
or actions of the war, the most important one being a sketch of 
certain North Carolina regiments, and he is considering the prepa- 
ration of a personal memoir covering the entire period. 

Among other publications that he has made is an extended his- 
torical account of Burke County, which is of great interest and 
value, published in Smith's "Western North Carolina." 

Judge Avery has had eleven children, among them being Isaac 
Erwin Avery, the brilliant local editor of the Charlotte Observer, 
whose untimely death in 1904 was lamented throughout the entire 
State. IV, W. Ashe, 

t::e i;l:\7 ycpk 


lli.i^Li\' F0VNDATION8 




many difficult and trying situations, several times wounded, and 
his death after the war was the direct result of an absolutely 
shattered nervous system, growing out of a mouth and throat 
wound received in the battle of the Wilderness in May, 1864. 
This wound necessitated sharp surgery of the most painful nature 
and compelled the use of false teeth, which he wore with difficulty 
owing to the course of the ball. 

Willoughby Avery had a remarkably fine sense of humor and 
enjoyed a joke even when he was the butt of it. One such now 
occurs to me in connection with his army experience. Late in 
1864 ^^ early in 1865, when the thin line at Petersburg was 
daily growing thinner and desertions had increased in frightful 
proportions, on a certain dark night a squad of men crossed the 
lines and took service with the enemy. Among them were some 
men of Avery's company ; and the Federal line reaching up to 
the Q>nfederate line so close as to permit conversa^tion, a little 
Irish Federal sergeant mounted in front of the Thirty-third 
regiment and made proclamation for "Oaptain^Avdry" — so the 
story was told. The "Johnnies" yelled back to Vno^yr his reason. 
*'I want him," said Pat, ''to come over and take charge of his 

In humor he far surpassed, in this writer's opinion, any mem- 
ber of his family; and they are a people, without exception, gifted 
in this regard. In the years after the war Avery was connected 
at one time or another with the Asheville, Qiarlotte, Hickory and 
Morgan ton press, and if from their files could be dug out, as has 
been done in the case of his nephew, the brilliant Erwin Avery of 
the Charlotte Observer, specimens of his rich and varied vein of 
humor, a veritable feast of good things would delight the lover 
of folk-lore. 

Nor was his genius confined to things witty and sharp. He 
could at times blow a bugle blast (in his paper) which roused 
the patriotism and party pride of men as eflFectively as the best 
stump efforts of Vance and men of his like. 

Soon after the war he married Miss Mattie Jones, of the Happy 
Valley family in Caldwell, by whom he had one child, which died 


in infancy, not long surviving the death of its mother. For years 
Mr. Avery remained a widower, when in 1875 he married Miss 
Laura Atkinston, of Johnston County, a stepdaughter of Hon. 
W. A. Smith, by whom he left a son, Willoughby Moulton Avery, 
recently married to Miss Emma Sharpe, of Greensboro, a grand- 
daughter of Judge Settle. 

This writer can never forget the shock which came to him upon 
receiving a despatch at Statesville from Major Smith announcing 
Mr. Avery's death at his (Smith's) home in Johnston County. 
Avery had gone to the meeting of the General Assembly of 1876, 
intending to be a candidate for one of the clerkships, his paper, 
the Blue Ridge Blade, having rendered distinguished service in 
the Vance-Settle, Tilden-Hayes canvass then closed. He left 
Raleigh for a visit to his people, and our next news was that of 
his death — the death of young Lycidas in his prime — Nov. 24, 

Willoughby Avery never held public office, never seemed am- 
bitious in that way; he was too much of a lover of a good time 
for business or business methods ; and yet he worked unsparingly 
when his heart was in the task, and of newspaper work he was 
exceedingly fond. That was the work he had taken for his life- 
work, but its opportunity and emoluments were far less in his 
day than in ours. Along with W. A. Heme and others of that 
school he was sowing in a field where J. P. Caldwell and men of 
the later school reaped a fine reward as the demand grew and 
general intelligence advanced. But on that account what he did 
and praise for the power that was in him to have done more 
should not be passed by lightly. He was an all-round giant intel- 
lectually, evolving slowly, at times painfully, but a truth-seeker 
to the core, and having a mind analytic as well as synthetic. His 
reading was accurate, extensive and solid. As a critic his judg- 
ments were entitled to respect, and no man in this section ever 
evinced more of the Thackeray talent for satire upon society. 

IV. S. Pearson, 





the law department of Trinity, and when licensed, in September, 
1893, was, to say the least, as well prepared as any candidate in 
the large class which went before the Supreme Court. 

While he was regarded by all who came in contact with him 
as possessing a mind especially fitted for the law, his tastes and 
talents were constantly driving him toward newspaper and more 
general literary work. He had made good progress along this 
line before leaving college, as editor of the Trinity Archive and 
as correspondent for different papers in the State. His first con- 
tribution which earned him money was a paragraph of about 
thirty lines sent to Town Topics, without hope of reward, during 
the Christmas vacation of 1892, and for which he received ten 
dollars. This incident led to dreams of making reputation and 
support some day as a writer. 

Soon after receiving his license to. practice law, Mr. Avery re- 
turned to Morganton and was employed by Mr. W. C. Erwin as 
associate editor of the Morganton Herald. Here he exercised 
a free hand in writing for the paper, and attracted considerable 
outside attention by his original methods and the excellent humor 
in many of his articles. Upon the invitation of Mr. Thomas R. 
Jernigan, then a citizen of Raleigh, who had been appointed by 
President Cleveland consul-general at Shanghai, Mr. Avery left 
for China in March, 1894, as secretary to the consul-general, and 
in less than a year was appointed vice consul-general at Shanghai, 
which office he filled until the spring of 1898, when a new consul- 
general was named by President McKinley. In China Me. Avery 
did some writing for American newspapers, but decided not to 
continue the work, owing to his connection with the consular ser- 
vice. He was, however, during a large part of his stay in Shang- 
hai a regular contributor to the North China Daily News, the 
leading English paper in the Orient. While residing in Shanghai 
Mr. Avery was prominent in the leading social circle among the 
foreign residents, and absorbed a rich fund of information which 
stood him in good stead later and made him a most interesting 
talker not only about things in the Far East, but in the world at 


When he returned to North Carolina he took up active news- 
paper work after a few months, reporting the proceedings of the 
state senate in the legislature of 1899 for a number of news- 
papers represented by Colonel Fred A. Olds, of Raleigh, and had 
charge of Colonel Olds' news bureau for a month or more while 
he was on a trip to Cuba. About May i, 1899, he went to Greens- 
boro, where he established a news bureau, representing a number 
of leading papers in North Carolina and elsewhere. As a result 
of his activity as a reporter, Greensboro became especially promi- 
nent as a news-dispensing center, and Mr. Avery's reputation as 
a writer began to expand. On January i, 1900, he became city 
editor of the Charlotte Observer, which position he filled until 
his death. It was while there that his unusual literary gifts to 
some extent gained the recognition which they really deserved. 

Personally he was the most engaging of men. Handsome as 
Apollo, with a countenance clear-cut and proclaiming in every 
line his gentle birth; tall, massive of frame, he combined with 
these physical attributes a manner as genial as the sunshine. His 
cultivation was that of the schools, that acquired by the reading 
of the best literature and by close association with, and acute ob- 
servation of, the great world of men. His gifts of conversation 
were equal to those with which he had been endowed for his pro- 
fession, and thus he was with these, and his commanding pres- 
ence, the center of every group in which he found himself. His 
popularity was unbounded. In his great heart was charity for 
all mankind, and it was ever open to the cry of distress. None 
who knew him or followed him in his work will ever forget him 
or cease to mourn that his life, so rich in promise, should have 
been cut off before its sun had nearly reached meridian. 

During his four years' sojourn in Charlotte Mr. Avery became 
thoroughly identified with the best phases of the city's life, and 
was a recognized leader in almost every movement that promised 
benefit to the people. While he was a leader in the best social life 
of the city, he was popular with all classes. He was especially 
sought after by those in trouble, whether friends or strangers, 
and while his time was generally taken up to large extent with 



his newspaper work and calls made upon him by society, he 
always took that necessary to offer counsel to those who 
called on him. While exceedingly patient and genuinely anxious 
to aid all who appealed to him, he would, on rare occasions, re- 
mark with a sigh that he wished he did not know of so much un- 
happiness — had not been made to put himself in the places of so 
many people in distress. But this feeling was only momentary, 
for he would immediately turn his thoughts to other things and 
become again the possessor of that sunny disposition which was 
one of his most charming characteristics. 

While Mr. Avery was designated as "city editor" of the Char- 
lotte Observer, he was in reality much more, for he was given 
freedom to criticise or commend the public acts of men which 
came under his observation, and while he never failed to write 
what he thought, he did it in a way that made him few enemies, 
even among those whose actions suffered most at his hand. While 
he was most widely known because of his manner of handling 
stories of human interest, either pathetic or humorous, as a mis- 
cellaneous news-gatherer he was eminently successful, thus com- 
bining gifts rarely developed in the same nature. So famous did 
his writing become that it was not unusual for papers published 
hundreds of miles from Charlotte to reprint his reports of events 
which, written in the ordinary manner, would interest none save 
those residing in the immediate vicinity in which the incidents de- 
tailed occurred. Another rather unusual combination noticeable 
in his newspaper work was his ability to write pathetic a^ well as 
humorous articles. He could do either with equal readiness, yet 
his natural propensity was toward that of humor — ^the clean, 
sweet and yet sharp and sparkling kind that would cause a laugh, 
and no more. In his general newspaper work, where he was con- 
fined to no special class of events, but had the entire field at his 
disposal, he seemed never at a loss as to how a story should be 
written, and he made remarkably few mistakes. This statement 
is, of course, intended to convey the idea that Mr. Avery was a 
student of human nature. In fact, he seemed to know men at 
first sight, and his ability to pick out a fraudulent scheme when 


first unfolded to him — ^no matter how well clothed — was notice- 
able on many occasions, and the value of this clear-sightedness 
in his work as city editor was incalculable. 

Mr. Avery could not only gather the news which was on the 
surface, s6 to speak, and put it in the proper shape to go before 
an intelligent public, but he could readily induce people to give 
out particulars that are legitimate matters of publicity, but which 
are often withheld by those who possess the information desired. 
Therefore he was preeminently known among his newspaper asso- 
ciates as the best of interviewers. Whenever an occurrence of 
special importance came to light, no matter where, the first 
thought in the Observer office was that Avery should be on the 
ground, and, whenever it was possible to do so, he was sent at 
once to the scene. Who can ever forget his stories of the mill 
disaster in South Carolina? or his account of the Greensboro re- 
union? His paper received numerous requests to have him as- 
signed to out-of-town meetings and other events which it was 
desired should be handled in a masterly manner. 

In exercising the prerogatives of his position it often fell to 
his lot to pass unfavorable criticism upon men or systems. He 
did this in such a manner as he thought appropriate, and now and 
then a controversy would develop; but he invariably contented 
himself with merely stating his position clearly, being satisfied 
to let the public draw its own conclusions. On a few occasions 
his humorous references to people brought them to see him, to 
protest that they should not have been referred to in the manner 
which he had seen fit to employ. Here, too, he was especially 
gifted, for, without any semblance of a compromise, he would 
make peace in a way that would sometimes provoke envy in his 
newspaper associates, and in rare instances disappoint them when 
they thought he might have to essay the role to which by nature 
he seemed especially fitted in a physical sense, owing to the belli- 
cose vein into which the aggrieved party had brought himself 
on reading Mr. Avery's description of him. 

More significant than his work as a reporter or an interviewer 
or an editorial writer was his "A Variety of Idle Comment" — a 


department of the Observer which appeared on Monday morn- 
ings — and upon this department his fame largely rests. A man 
of the world, of contact with all sorts and conditions of human- 
ity, he had closely studied his fellows and looked **quite through 
the deeds of men." A commentator upon their virtues and vices, 
their merits and weaknesses, he brought to every discussion the 
subtlest analysis, and with perfect, sometimes startling, fidelity 
"held the mirror up to nature." His pen was adapted with utmost 
facility to every subject he touched, and he touched none but to 
adorn or illumine it. Amiable, sweet of spirit, he yet might 
feel that a person, a custom or an institution called for invective 
or ridicule, and he was a torrent. Anon a child, a flower, a friend- 
less one appealed to him, and his pen caressed them as his heart 
was attuned to the music of the spheres. His humor was ex- 
quisite ; his pathos tear-compelling. He was the master of a rich 
vocabulary — the master; that is the word. It responded immedi- 
ately to every demand upon it; and thus he attempted no figure 
that was not complete ; he drew no picture that did not stand out 
on the canvas in colors of living light. The writers profess some 
familiarity with the contemporaneous newspaper writers of the 
South, and are sure that they indulge in no exuberance of lan- 
guage, that personal affection warps their judgment not at all, 
when they say that for original thought, for power or felicity of 
expression, Isaac Erwin Avery had not an equal among them. 

/. C Abernethy. 

/. P. Caldwell. 




his parents, was born at New Bern. His father dying when he 
was but four years of age, leaving the widowed mother with but 
little fortune, his prospects in life were not very flattering. After a 
preparatory course in the local schools of New Bern, however, a 
rich relative in the North provided the means for his entering 
Yale College, and at the age of fifteen he became a pupil at that 
institution. There he was beyond dispute the first boy of his 
class, but before the completion of his sophomore year his kins- 
man withdrew his support, and he returned home and studied law 
under his cousin, Hon. John Stanly, a distinguished lawyer, states- 
man and orator, who in September, 1802, had killed Governor 
Richard D. Spaight in a duel, but was pardoned by Governor 
Williams. Stanly was twice speaker of the house of commons 
and died in 1834. 

In the summer of 1814, at the age of nineteen, Mr. Badger was 
granted his license to practice in the county courts, and about 
that time an invasion of the State being threatened by the British 
under Admiral Cockbum, then hovering on our coast, Governor 
Hawkins called out the militia and took the field to defend New 
Bern and Beaufort. On this occasion Mr. Badger served as 
aide-de-camp to General Calvin Jones, of Wake, with the rank of 
major. Hardly had he obtained his license before he was ap- 
pointed solicitor to prosecute for the State in that district. In 
1816, when just turned twenty-one, he was elected to represent 
New Bern in the legislature. These marks of favor and appre- 
ciation indicate that even at that early age he gave evidence of 
high powers and strong character. In the Assembly he met Hon. 
Thomas Ruffin, the speaker of the house, who, being then ap- 
pointed a judge, invited Mr. Badger to take his cases in the 
Orange circuit. Accepting this offer, he removed to Hillsboro, 
where he resided for two or three years; but marrying at that 
time the daughter of Governor James Turner, of Warren, he 
moved to Warrenton. In 1820, when but twenty-five years of 
age, so superior were his accomplishments and so high was his 
reputation that he was elected a judge of the superior court, and 
served on the Bench for five years. At the age of thirty he re- 


tired from the judicial office and, locating in Raleigh, devoted 
himself to his profession, in which he took rank with the fore- 
iDost of his brethren. 

**His massive forehead and sparkling eye and a countenance that seemed 
to have a supernatural illumination attracted the gaze and scrutiny of 
erery one who saw him and subdued every feeling but that of astonishment 
and wonder, and when he spoke, the rich, musical tones of his voice, the 
perfection and eloquence of his language, and his faultless pronunciation 
cliarmed his hearers and persuaded all who listened to him. The attention 
being riveted, the spell was never broken till he chose to suspend and 
permit you to breathe again in freedom. His mind was thoroughly culti- 
irated; he had read nearly everything in .our language and very much in 
Latin and Greek and was familiar with all the incidents of history. His 
memory was unfailing and his powers of recollection without a limit 
All that he had read and observed were as servants at his hands, ready 
to illustrate his arguments, to adorn his language or to magnify his elo- 
quence. It seemed that he knew everything that was beautiful and elo- 
quent and enchanting, and blended them in harmony as a lovely picture, 
and then with bewitching words invited the admiration and wonder of his 
hearers to the scene before them." 

He was especially noted as a conversationalist, and with his 
friends was genial, familiar, jocular, and with such an exuberance 
of sprightliness that at times it led to apparent frivolity. He had 
an inexhaustible fund of anecdotes and related them inimitably. 

Having now achieved eminence, Yale College enrolled his name 
among the members of his class who graduated in 1813 and con- 
ferred upon him the degree of LL.D., as did also the University 
of North Carolina, of which institution he became a trustee and 
so continued for some twenty years. 

On the disappearance of the Federal party during the War of 
1812 there seemed to be but a single party in the Union, the Re- 
publican; but there remained factions in every State, and at 
length, about 1834, various factions cooperating came to be known 
as the Whig party. 

In 1828 Mr. Badger had supported Jackson for the presidency, 
and it was expected that he would be made attorney-general of 
the United States, but General Jackson made another appoint- 


ment. In North Carolina, later, Jackson had driven off from 
him many who entirely disapproved of his invasion of the rights 
of South Carolina by his Force Bill and others who antagonized 
his violent opposition to the National Bank; and, indeed, the 
Republicans of that period were divided into Federal Republicans 
and National Republicans, the latter of whom advocated the exer- 
cise of extensive powers by the Federal Government, which the 
former deemed either unconstitutional or inexpedient. It was 
on these lines chiefly that the Republican party, which had admin- 
istered the government from Jefferson's election in 1800, split 
into two great factions. In 1836 the Whigs, as the opposition 
party then was called, were successful locally, although the elec- 
toral votes of North Carolina were given to Van Buren. Mr. 
Badger had aligned himself with that party and was among the 
most distinguished of its leaders in this State. In 1839 the Whigs 
held their National Convention at Harrisburg and nominated 
General Harrison and Governor Tyler of Virginia as their presi- 
dential candidates, without, however, adopting any platform or 
resolution or principles or making any declaration of purpose, the 
great demand made on the hustings and through the press being 
for reform and "to turn the rascals out." North Carolina now 
gave her fifteen votes to Harrison, and on his inauguration as 
President he invited Mr. Badger to take the office of secretary 
of the navy. Mr. Badger, however, remained in the cabinet only 
six months. In April, 1841, President Tyler succeeded General 
Harrison, and differences arose that led to Mr. Badger's retire- 

The united forces of the opposition embraced many men of 
many minds. Harrison and most of his friends, including Mr. 
Badger, were in favor of the reestablishment of the bank ; Gov- 
ernor Tyler was not only opposed to the bank but considered that 
Congress had no power to charter one except as a necessity of 
governmental operations. On his accession to the presidency that 
question made a split between him and the Whig leaders. Con- 
gress passed a bill to charter a bank, which Tyler vetoed ; but he 
assented to the introduction of a new measure somewhat differ- 


ently cast. Yet when that bill was passed he likewise vetoed it. 
His action separated him from his party, who generally declared 
him a traitor, and Mr. Badger with great indignation resigned 
his office, along with Mr. Ewing, afterward in Taylor's cabinet, 
and with Hon. John Bell, afterward the Constitutional Union 
presidential candidate in i860. Secretary Badger's administra- 
tioa was so brief that he accomplished but little, and yet the 
measures then inaugurated were later effective in bringing about 
reforms in the naval service. It may be remarked in passing that 
at that period whiskers and beard were not usually worn by gen- 
tlemen, and Mr. Badger found it expedient to issue an order that 
naval officers could wear beards cut in a certain way, which then 
became known as "Badgers." 

Returning home, he resumed the practice of his profession, and 
was accorded the leadership of his party in North Carolina, to 
which he was entitled by virtue of his splendid powers. 

In 1846 William H. Haywood, who had been elected United 
States senator as a Democrat and had been instructed to vote for 
tariff reform, dramatically resigned rather than vote for the tariff 
measure prepared at that session, General J. J. McKay, of Bladen, 
being the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means in the 
House, but the bill was commonly called the "Walker Bill" be- 
cause of the connection with its preparation of Robert J. Walker, 
President Polk's secretary of the treasury. At the succeeding ses- 
sion of the legislature; in 1848, both houses were a tie, but Mr. 
Badger was elected to succeed Mr. Haywood, although the elec- 
tion was unsought and unexpected by him and he was absent at 
the time. He continued in the Senate until 1855, taking rank in 
that body with Mr. Webster and other men of the first ability, 
although he was not as useful as some others as a business mem- 
ber. It was his custom when entering the Senate to linger and 
have a pleasant word with nearly every member before taking his 
seat. This he would not retain long, for he was less frequently 
in his own seat than in that of other members. Yet with this 
apparent carelessness he would catch and remember every word, 
whether trivial or important, uttered in debate, and was ready 


to answer any questions. He had a certain kind of humor, and 
would ridicule, in a pleasant way, even the most dignified of the 
senators if any should happen to make a little mistake or blunder 
either in speech or conversation. Mr. Webster once remarked: 
**Badger is the greatest trifler I ever knew ; we are all afraid of 
him ; he can make more out of a trifling occurrence than any man 
I ever knew." But Mr. Webster had the highest respect for his 
legal ability and great powers. In a note to Judge Story intro- 
ducing Mr. Badger, Mr. Webster said: "I beg to introduce to 
you Hon. George E. Badger, of North Carolina, your equal and 
my superior." In some respects certainly Mr. Badger was Mr. 
Webster's superior. 

At that time he was appearing in many important cases in the 
Supreme Court of the United States, and his reputation was very 
great as a lawyer and he was regarded as one of the most eminent 
characters at the Federal capital. As a statesman he had adopted 
a rule for the construction of the Constitution which he once 
heard Judge Marshall enunciate from the Bench in North Caro- 
lina: "The Constitution of the United States is to be construed 
not strictly, not loosely, but honestly." On the burning question 
of slavery in the territories, while arguing the justice and ex|>edi- 
ency of opening the territories to all immigrants without restric- 
tion as to any species of property, he yet refused to argue that 
Congress had no constitutional power to legislate on the subject 
of slavery in the territories. For this he incurred the disappro- 
bation of the extreme advocates of Southern interests. In 1853, 
just before the inauguration of President Pierce, President Fill- 
more nominated him to a vacant position on the Supreme Court. 
Although the Senate was Democratic, it would under other cir- 
cumstances have confirmed him without referring the appointment 
to a committee, but believing that Mr. Pierce could fill the vacancy 
by a more acceptable appointment, with reluctance it withheld 
its consent and the appointment was not acted on. Later, 
President Pierce appointed Judge Campbell, of Louisiana, to the 

It was about this time that Mr. Badger performed an important 


service to the Episcopal Church in North Carolina, of which he 
was a member. He was one of the vestry of Christ Church at 
Raleigh, and he first moved in the matter of Bishop Ives, whose 
conduct he did not approve, but who was greatly beloved and 
revered throughout the diocese. At first Mr. Badger was very 
severely criticised, but the result proved his wisdom, and his posi- 
tive action in the matter gave him another title to the esteem and 
regard of those interested, and illustrated the manliness of his 
character. A little later Bishop Ives abandoned Protestantism 
and became an adherent of the Papacy. 

Mrs. Badger having died. Judge Badger married a second time, 
Miss Mary Polk, a daughter of Colonel William Polk by his wife 
Sarah, a daughter of Philemon Hawkins. Mrs. Badger was a 
sister of Leonidas Polk, Bishop of Louisiana and general in the 
confederate army. Colonel William Polk by his first wife, Miss 
Gilchrist, had two other sons, one of whom was the father of 
another Mary Polk, who became the wife of Hon. George Davis. 
On the death of his second wife, Mr. Badger married Delia, a 
daughter of Sherwood and Eleanor Hawkins Ha3rwood. She 
had first married General William Williams and was Delia Will- 
iams at the time of her marriage to Mr. Badger. She was a lady 
of rare loveliness and enjoyed the affectionate regard of a large 
circle of relatives and friends. She survived Mr. Badger several 

After his retirement from the Senate, Mr. Badger, like Chief 
Justice Ruffin and other characters of the highest respectability, 
served as chairman of the county court and gave his attention to 
the administration of the local affairs of the people of Wake 
County. He held also the position of regent of the Smithsonian 
Institution. In his professional visits to Washington and in all 
his correspondence with public men he never departed from that 
moderation on the exciting subject of the period which had char- 
acterized him as a senator. He joined in the movement for the 
organization of a Constitutional Union party; he accepted the 
nomination for elector on the Bell and Everett ticket and ad- 
dressed the people in its support. 


Although up to the last moment a Union man, yet when the 
Convention met on May 20, 1861, being a member from Wake 
County, he offered an ordinance declaring the separation of 
North Carolina from the United States, which, after a recital 
of the reasons that required the separation of the State from the 
Union, continued: 

"Therefore this Convention, now here assembled in the name and with 
the sovereign power of the people of North Carolina, doth for the reasons 
aforesaid and others, and in order to preserve the undoubted rights and 
liberties of the said people, hereby declare all connection of government 
between this State and the United States of America dissolved and abro- 
gated, and this State to be a free, sovereign and independent State. . . . 
And appealing to the Supreme Governor of the World for the justness of 
our cause, and beseeching Him for His gracious help and blessing, we 
will, to the uttermost of our power and to the last extremity, maintain, 
defend and uphold this declaration." 

The line of difference between public men at that time in re- 
gard to the right of secession was that most of the Democrats 
held that any State having ratified the Constitution of the United 
States could lawfully abrogate its compact at will, while the old 
Whig leaders regarded that the right to withdraw from the Union 
was merely based on the natural right of revolution and not on 
the reserved rights of the states. Mr. Badger's proposed ordi- 
nance seemed to be based on the right of revolution. William S. 
Ashe, Burton Craige and other Democratic members preferred 
a simple ordinance annulling the ordinance adopted by the State 
in 1789, whereby the Constitution of the United States was rati- 
fied and adopted. Mr. Craige moved to strike out Mr. Badger's 
resolution and substitute one simply repealing the ordinance of 
1789. On the motion to strike out forty members voted with 
Mr. Badger and seventy-two against him. On the motion to 
adopt Mr. Craige's ordinance the vote was unanimous. Judge 
Badger, however, was not recorded as voting at all. Still he 
signed the ordinance and stood foursquare in favor of all meas- 
ures of defense to the last extremity. The Convention held four 
sessions, finally adjourning on May 13, 1862. 

In March, 1862, upon the fall of New Bern, President Lincoln 


appointed Edward Stanly military governor of North Carolina. 
Mr. Stanly was a son of John Stanly, under whom Mr. Badger 
had studied law, and was his kinsman. He had been a most im- 
portant member of the Whig party in eastern North Carolina 
and was a member of Congress with some intermission from 
1837 to 1853. He was an actor in the dramatic scene in the house 
of commons of North Carolina in 1849 when he proposed to the 
western members to support the Ashe Bill incorporating the 
North Carolina Railroad Company, his action at that moment 
paving the way for the passage of that bill. 

In 1853 he moved to California, and in 1862 came to New 
Bern as the military governor of North Carolina. In connection 
with that appointment Judge Badger wrote a letter to Jonathan 
S. Ely, of New York, on the feeling in North Carolina. In it 
Mr. Badger said : 

"There is no union feeling in North Carolina, as you suppose and is 
probably supposed by the generality of northern men. There was in the 
State a very strong union feeling, a strong love for the Union as estab- 
lished by our forefathers, but as soon as Mr. Lincoln's proclamation of 
April, 1861, appeared, offering us the alternative of joining that armed 
invasion of our southern sister states for their subjugation, or resisting 
the authorities of the United States, our position was taken without a 
moment's hesitation. A convention was promptly called, and instantly, 
without a dissenting voice, that convention resolved to take our side with 
the already seceded states, and share their fate for good or evil. From 
that moment, however we may have differed in other things, there has 
not been and there is not any difference; hence our people with one heart 
sprang to arms. 

**We look with horror at the thought of being again united in any political 
connection with the North. We would rather far that our State should be 
a colony of England, or France, or Sardinia. The North may be able 
(though we do not believe it) to conquer us, and even to keep us con- 
quered, and if it should be the wise and good purpose of the Almighty 
that this should happen, we shall endeavor to suffer with patience whatever 
ills may befall us; but a voluntary return to any union with the North 
we cannot, will not accept on any terms. A revival of any union senti- 
ments is an impossibility." 

While taking a walk at an early hour on the morning of Jan- 
uary' 5, 1863, he was prostrated by a paralytic stroke, and before 


Mr. Boyd was a farmer from choice, and a very successful one, 
and at the same time owned and conducted a large store and 
flouring mills, both situated near his home, and it is said at times 
the **Boyd Place" presented the bustle and activity of a small 

Being thus situated, he was widely known, and he had the op- 
portunity to study and to know the people, and being endowed 
with a splendid physique, a commanding personal appearance, a 
big heart and extraordinary mental powers, he wielded a very 
wide influence in his day. He was the "people's man," and his 
wholesome advice, wise counsel and sound judgment, on various 
subjects and interests of the commonwealth, were eagerly sought 
after by the common people, and freely given through a long 
period of years. He was an ardent Democrat, and for many years 
took an active interest in politics. He was known as ''Squire 
Boyd," and for many years served the people as a magistrate, but 
his intellectual endowments and adaptability to the masses called 
him to higher positions of usefulness. He was first elected as a 
member of the lower house of the legislature in 1840, with the 
Hon. R. P. Cardwell. He was afterward elected successively for 
three terms as a member of the senate, and served in this capacity 
until 1848. In 1853 Mr. Boyd was the Democratic candidate for 
Congress in his district, against the Hon. R. C. Puryear, who was 
the Whig candidate. The Whigs at that time had an overwhelm- 
ing majority in the district, and while Mr. Boyd was defeated by 
Mr. Puryear, yet he reduced the majority of more than 1000 votes 
to about 300, which showed his great popularity with the masses 
of the people. 

After the civil war he was elected a member of one of the con- 
ventions which never met, and he retained the unbounded confi- 
dence and esteem of his fellow-citizens unto the end of his long 

Mr. Boyd, like many of his compeers, suflfered not only in the 
common misfortunes of the civil war in the loss of his property, 
but he suflfered in the terrible bereavement and loss of his noble 
sons. He gave four sons to the "lost cause" ; two were killed in 


battle, one died in the service, and one returned to bless his old 
age. All of these sons were brave soldiers and gallant officers. 

Of the five sons bom to the subject of this sketch the eldest, 
James Pinkney, died in infancy. John Hill Boyd entered the Con- 
federate army as captain of Company L, Twenty-first North Car- 
olina regiment, and died in Richmond, Va., August 28, 1861, 
from exposure and disease contracted in the service. 

Samuel Hill Boyd entered the service as captain of Company E, 
Forty-fifth North Carolina regiment, and by his personal bravery 
was promoted to colonel of the regiment, and fell at Spottsylvania 
Court House, May 19, 1864, while leading his men and mounting 
the breastworks of the enemy, bearing aloft the colors of the 
r^;iment in his own hand. 

George Fulton Boyd first enlisted in a Mississippi regiment and 
was transferred to the famous Forty-fifth North Carolina regi- 
ment, became a lieutenant of Company A, and was killed at Get- 
tysburg, July I, 1863. 

Colonel Andrew J. Boyd, the surviving son, is considered in a 
separate sketch. 

Mr. Boyd belonged to that class and type of men in the ante- 
bellum days, not so numerous now, who chose the quiet life of 
the farmer and who lived among the people and with the people, 
and yet towered above their fellows in intellectual endowments 
and educational advantages, and therefore wielded a tremendous 
influence in molding the character of men and in shaping the 
political destinies of the country. He did his work nobly. He 
served his generation well. He came to his grave in a full age, 
trusting in God, "like as a shock of corn cometh in his season," 
fully ripe, ready to be garnered, and honored of God and men. 

D. I. Craig. 



began the practice of law at Wentworth, N. C, before he enlisted 
in the army. 

Colonel Boyd went from the bar to the front, and as a soldier 
be displayed in a marked degree those characteristics which were 
so conspicuous in his eventful after life. He was a brave man 
and in the army often distinguished himself for personal gallantry 
as well as for being an organizer and leader of men. He was 
quick to take high rank among his associates. He was naturally 
of a secretive nature, and was often slow in making up his mind, 
but his convictions always took deep root, and when once formed 
they were as firm as a rock. He was scrupulously careful and 
painstaking in his work, mastering every detail of the situation, 
alert in grasping every aspect of the case, and planning his line of 
action with marvelous acumen. He was always calm, self-poised, 
clear-headed, long-sighted ; he never forgot himself, and his fertil- 
ity of resource and personal courage never failed him. These 
characteristics made him a favorite soldier and officer in the 
Confederate service and distinguished him as a bom leader of 

Colonel Boyd was a man of fine physique, but the exposure 
and hardships of camp life completely undermined his health, and 
in the fall of 1863 he was compelled to retire from the service. 
He at once returned to the practice of law, and endeavored by 
every means possible to restore his broken health. 

On July 7, 1864, Colonel Boyd was married to Miss Sallie A. 
Richardson, eldest daughter of Robert P. Richardson, Sr. This 
proved to be a happy union until her death, which occurred June 
8, 1869, leaving him with three small children, Samuel H., 
George D., and Mary E. Boyd. In the winter of 1864 Colonel 
Boyd was elected and served as a member of the lower house 
of the state legislature. These were stormy times and required 
such men as Andrew Boyd to steer and keep afloat the ship of 
state, no less than those who planned and executed the deadly 
charge on the field of battle. 

After the war Colonel Boyd persistently refused to gratify 
the wish of his friends to become an aspirant for political 


honors. With the single exception of accepting the appointment 
of President Cleveland as collector of internal revenue of the fifth 
district, which office he filled for two or three years, he declined 
every overture to enter public life. Nevertheless, he took a 
deep interest in all political questions and was an influential 
factor in the Democratic campaigns of his time, being an ardent 
Democrat of the Andrew Jackson type. For many years no man 
in Rockingham County seemed to question his recognized right 
to leadership in the Democratic party, or failed to find in him a 
strong friend or a dangerous foe — a strong leader, strong in 
intellect, strong in will and strong in character. But he gave 
his unceasing attention to the practice of law, the profession he 
loved, and to the study and management of finance. He was 
an able lawyer and a perfect wizard in the art of managing 
finances. At the bar he was not conspicuous as a jury advocate, 
though in addressing the court his style was finished and his 
statements lucid and luminous in their character. It was always 
as consulting attorney that he displayed that judicial cast of 
mind and wonderful legal tact and skill which seemed to have 
been born with him, and not in the arena of forensic eloquence. 
In the resolutions adopted by the bar of Rockingham County 
and spread upon the minutes of the court at Wentworth after 
his death, the following language is used : 

"The county and State have lost a man faithful, courageous and true 
in the discharge of all his obligations in every relation of life, both in peace 
and in war. A man gifted in his attainments, learned in his calling, faithful 
and efficient, painstaking and laborious, lucid in thought, forceful and 
elegant in diction, and, in brief, a sound and excellent lawyer." 

Colonel Boyd was not only an able lawyer, but a man of 
unrivaled business sagacity and a high-toned gentleman. As a 
business man he exerted an influence which few men who have 
ever lived in Rockingham County possessed. Men of wealth as 
well as the poor took him into their most guarded confidence, 
and large estates were left with him to settle, and he was always 
able to command money in any amounts he wished, either for 
himself or for his friends. He possessed the unbounded confi- 


dence of his fellow-citizens in financial matters, and at the time 
of his death was president of the Bank of Reidsville, which insti- 
tution largely owes its origin and existence to him, and he was 
also president of the Reidsville Hermitage Cotton Mills; and 
yety it is said, in all these positions of trust and confidence, he 
was never known to abuse the power he possessed. 

On September i, 1875, Colonel Boyd was happily married the 
second time to Miss Margaret I. Richardson, a sister of his first 
wife. By this union there were five children, Sallie R., John R., 
Robert R., Bessie W., and Margaret P., all of whom, and their 
mother, are still living. 

On October 27, 1889, Colonel Boyd, together with two of his 
children, united with the Reidsville Presbyterian Church, and 
were baptized by the pastor, the Rev. D. I. Craig. He was 
a faithful and consistent member of the church during the re- 
mainder of his life, and took a lively interest in church afiFairs, 
and gave liberally of his means to all benevolent causes. In the 
throes of death he was the same calm, peaceful and brave -soul 
that he was in life, and realizing that his hour of departure had 
come, called his family, one by one, to his bedside and bade them 
an affectionate good-by, commending them to the Lord Jesus, in 
whom he believed and trusted, and to whom he committed his 
soul. D. I, Craig. 


Sigh on the roll of North Carolina statesmen 
' stands the name of John Branch, a native of the 
5 county of Halifax, whose birth occurred on 
^ November 4, 1782, about the close of the Rcvo- 
• liition. In that war his father, John Branch, the 
J elder, had borne a patriot's part, serving as a 
member of tlie Assembly in 1781 and 1782, and as high sheriff, 
bringing Tories before the Provincial Congress and "praying 
condign punishment upon them." He was also a member of the 
Assembly after the war, in 1787 and 1788. 

The younger John Branch, subject of this sketch, was one of 
the early students at the University of North Carolina, and grad- 
uated therefrom in 1801. Afterward he studied law under Judge 
John Haywood (of Halifax, later of Tennessee), but never prac- 
ticed. He represented Halifax County in the state senate in 
1811, at five sessions from 1813 til! 1817, and again in 1822 and 
1834. He was president of the senate in 1816 and 1817. He 
was elected governor of North Carolina in 181 7, and served till 
1819. He was elected to the Senate of the United States in 1823, 
and reelected in 1829, but resigned upon being appointed sec- 
retary of the navy by President Jackson on March 9, 1829. 
Speaking of Branch's appointment to the cabinet, Parton, in his 
"Life of Jackson," says: 

"Mr, Branch 1 

; of those who a chic 



of those who have greatness thrust upon them. He was born to it 
Inheritiog an ample estate, he lived for many years upon his plantations 
and employed himself in superintending their culture. He was a man 
of respectable talents, good presence, and high social position." 

As is well known, there was a disruption of Jackson's cabinet, 
owing to the fact that the wives of its members (including 
Mrs. Branch) refused social recognition to Mrs. Eaton, wife of 
the secretary of war, about whose character so many tales were 
afloat. On April 19, 1831, Mr. Branch sent his resignation to 
the President. Replying to this, Jackson wrote : 

"In accepting your resignation, it is with great pleasure that I bear 
testimony to the integrity and zeal with which you have managed the 
conc er ns of the navy. In your discharge of all the duties of your office 
orer which I have any control I have been fully satisfied; and in your 
retirement you carry with you my best wishes for your prosperity and 
happiness. It is expected that you will continue to discharge the duties 
of your office until a successor is appointed." 

After Mr. Branch's retirement from the cabinet, he returned to 
his home in Halifax County, but did not long remain in private 
life, being elected a member of the Twenty-second Congress, and 
serving from December 5, 1831, till March 3, 1833. In 1835 ^^ sat 
as a delegate from Halifax in the constitutional convention of 
North Carolina, and nominated Nathaniel Macon for president of 
the body, that nomination being carried unanimously. On the for- 
mation of the Whig party Mr. Branch did not abandon the admin- 
istration, but remained an earnest supporter of the regular Repub- 
lican party, and in 1838, at the first election for governor by 
the people, he was the Democratic nominee for governor, an office 
he had held twenty years before, but was defeated by the Whig 
candidate, Edward B. Dudley. In 1843 Mr. Branch was appointed 
governor of the territory of Florida by President Tyler, who at 
that time was affiliating with the Democratic leaders, and served 
until the establishment of the state government in 1845. This 
was his last public service. He afterward spent his time partly 
in Florida and partly in North Carolina. At Enfield, in Halifax 
Coimty, North Carolina, he died on January 4, 1863. 


Governor Branch was twice married. His first wife, Miss 
Elizabeth Foort, the mother of all his children, was the lady 
whose reserve in her Washington entertainments and personal 
associations helped to split the cabinet of President Jackson. 
After the death of this lady he was married to Mrs. Bond, nee 
Jordan, who survived him a few years. 

The closing years of Governor Branch's life were passed amid 
the great sorrows incident to the war between the states. In that 
conflict his family and kindred were active participants. Though 
all bore an honorable part in defending the rights of the South, 
the best-known member of his family connection in the Con- 
federate service was his nephew, General Lawrence O'Bryan 
Branch (son of his brother Joseph), who was killed at the battle 
of Sharpsburg. 

Nearly all of the immediate descendants of Governor John 
Branch now reside in the State of Florida. 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 


t N November 28, 1820, at the village of Enfield, 
L in the county of Halifax and State of North 
J Carolina, was bom Lawrence O'Bryan Branch, 
i afterward known to fame as a distinguished 
/ member of Congress under the government of 

I the United States, and as a brave and capable 

biigadler-gener^ in the army of flie Southern Confederacy. 

The family of General Branch had been one of prominence long 
prior to the time when his own career added luster to its reputa- 
tion. His grandfather, John Branch, was a fearless patriot of 
Revolutionary times, who served as high sheriff of the county of 
Halifax under the Whig government, was a justice of the court 
of pleas and quarter sessions, and also a member of the North 
Carolina house of commons during the progress of the war. 
One of General Branch's uncles, son of the foregoing, was the 
Hon. John Branch, member of Congress, governor of North 
Carolina, United States senator, secretary of the navy of the 
United States, governor of the then territory of Florida, etc. 

At an early age Lawrence O'Bryan Branch was left an orphan, 
though not unprovided for. His mother died on Christmas day, 
1825. His father. Major Joseph Branch, removed with his chil- 
dren to Tennessee in the following year, where he soon afterward 
died. Hardly had young Lawrence reached Tennessee when he 
was brought back to North Carolina by his uncle and guardian. 


Governor John Branch. And when Governor Branch went to 
Washington as secretary of the navy in the cabinet of President 
Jackson, his nephew accompanied him and returned with him to 
North Carolina after the disruption of the cabinet in 183 1. 

At the age of fifteen he entered the University of North Caro- 
lina, but in less than a year withdrew and began a course at 
Princeton. From the latter institution he graduated with the 
first honors of what was up to that time the largest class which 
had ever finished a course there. He was then less than eighteen 
years of age. He spoke the English salutatory, his brother 
Joseph having spoken the Greek salutatory there in the previous 

In 1839 Mr. Branch went to Tennessee and studied law, also 
becoming editor (incognito) of a political newspaper called the 
Reserve Corps. Going to Florida to practice law, he at first met 
with some difficulty, owing to the fact that he was not of age, but 
the legislature of that State passed a special act allowing him 
to practice, notwithstanding he was under age. Although a 
student and pursuing his practice, in 1841, when the Seminole 
war was in progress, his gallant spirit led him to abandon his 
office and serve as aide-de-camp to General Reid during that war. 
In April, 1844, it was his happy fortune to be united in marriage 
to Miss Nancy Haywood Blount, daughter of General William 
Augustus Blount, and granddaughter of Sherwood Haywood of 
Raleigh, a lady distinguished among her sex for her elegance and 
intellectual and conversational gifts, no less than for her refine- 
ment and personal graces. After four years of married life in 
Florida, Mr. and Mrs. Branch were drawn back to the Old North 
State, and September, 1848, found them established in the city of 

A man of fine personality, earnest and of strong and vigorous 
intellect, Mr. Branch proved a great acquisition to the Democratic 
party, then struggling for supremacy with the Whigs, who had the 
popular majority in the State, and he soon became a recognized 
party leader. Entering actively into politics, in 1852 he made a 
notable canvass as elector on the Pierce and King ticket, and in 


October of the same year he was elected president of the Raleigh 
and Gaston Railroad Company, but in 1855 he resigned that posi- 
tion to take his seat in Congress. His first service was in the 
Thirty-fourth Congress, and twice thereafter he was reelected, 
serving from December 3, 1855, ^^^ March 3, 1861. Just prigr to 
his retirement from Congress the office of secretary of the treasury 
became vacant by the resignation of the Hon. Howell Cobb, 
and President Buchanan offered that post to Mr. Branch, but the 
honor was declined, as the latter foresaw that his native State 
would soon be one of those arrayed against the general govern- 

In tracing the military career of General Branch, we are fortu- 
nate in having as a source of information the able address de- 
livered in Raleigh on Memorial Day (May loth) 1884, by the late 
Major John Hughes, of New Bern. Indeed, this sketch is drawn 
almost entirely from that excellent address. 

In April, 1861, to manifest his zeal and spirit, he entered as a 
private in the Raleigh Rifles, and about a month later, on the day 
that North Carolina seceded (May 20, 1861), Governor Ellis com- 
missioned him to the joint office of quartermaster-general and 
paymaster-general. This he accepted unwillingly, wishing to go 
into active service. In the following September he resigned the 
above office and was commissioned colonel of the Thirty-third 
North Carolina regiment, and a few months later, January 17, 
1862, he was appointed by President Davis a brigadier-general. 
His first command as brigadier-general was at New Bern, which 
was threatened by a large Federal force. On March 14, 1862, the 
Federals marched to the attack, but were vigorously opposed by 
General Branch, whose insufficient force, however, was soon 
driven from before the town. Branch's brigade, consisting of the 
Seventh, Eighteenth, Twenty-eighth, Thirty-third and Thirty-sev- 
enth regiments, was then ordered to Virginia to join "Stonewall" 
Jackson, and went to Gordonsville by rail, afterward proceeding 
on foot. After a long march, however, they were ordered back 
to Hanover Court House. Near that place was fought the battle 
of Hanover Court House, at first called the battle of Slash 


Church. In this fight General Branch commanded the Con- 
federate forces, and received a letter of thanks from General Lee 
for his conduct there. In all of the battles in the Seven Days* 
Fight around Richmond, Branch's brigade also bore a highly 
creditable part. 

In the address by Major Hughes, already mentioned, he quotes 
a congratulatory address by General Branch, in the course of 
which the latter said : 

"The general commanding with pride points to the good conduct of 
this brigade in the recent battles below Richmond. At New Bern, besides 
a fleet of gunboats, you fought 13,000 of the best troops in the Federal 
service, they having reserves of 7000. You numbered less than 4000, not 
ten of whom, officers and men, had ever been in battle before. 

"After an uninterrupted fire of four hours, which has not been exceeded 
in severity by any you have since heard, except for one hour at Gaines* 
Mill, . . . you made good your retreat out of the peninsula, in which 
the enemy had confidently boasted that he would capture you as he 
would 'chickens in a coop.' 

"At Slash Church you encountered the division of General Porter 
and a part of the division of General Sedgwick, numbering at least 
20,000, and including 5000 United States regulars. You with two addi- 
tional regiments temporarily acting with you numbered about 4000. You 
repulsed the enemy's attack, and boldly advancing, attacked him with 
such vigor that after six hours' combat you withdrew in perfect order 
to avoid being surrounded during the night. 

"In the late brilliant operations below Richmond you were the first 
brigade to cross the Chickahominy, you were the first to encounter the 
enemy, and you were the first to start him on that retreat in which the 
able combinations of our general-in-chief allowed him to take no rest 
until he found shelter under the guns of his shipping. You captured 
from the enemy a flag before any other troops had crossed the Chicka- 

"Though rarely able to turn out 3000 men for duty, you have in six 
pitched battles and several skirmishes lost 1250 men in killed and wounded. 
Of five colonels, two have been killed in battle, two wounded, and one 
taken prisoner by an overwhelming force." 

General Branch's brigade was later engaged in the battles of 
Cedar Run, Second Manassas, Fairfax Court House, Harper's 
Ferry and Sharpsburg. Sharpsburg (otherwise known as Antie- 
tam) was General Branch's last battle. While standing with some 


officers who were endeavoring to get a better view of a detach- 
ment of the enemy, he was shot through the head and fell into the 
arms of Major Joseph A. Engelhard, an officer attached to his 
staff. The death of General Branch caused deep regret through- 
out the army and particularly in North Carolina. His remains 
were brought to Raleigh by three officers of his brigade, Major 
Joseph A. Engelhard, Captain James A. Bryan, and Lieutenant 
A. M. Noble, arriving in the city on the 25th. From the capitol, 
where his remains lay in state, they were borne with a vast con- 
course in attendance, on the following day, to the Old Graveyard, 
at the eastern terminus of Morgan Street in Raleigh. There a 
white marble shaft has been erected to his memory, and on it are 
inscribed some of the principal battles in which he participated — 
viz. : New Bern, Hanover Court House, Mechanicsville, Chicka- 
hominy, Frazier's Farm, Malvern Hill, Cedar Run, Second 
Manassas, Ox Hill, Harper's Ferry, and Sharpsburg. 

General Branch left four children, who reached maturity and 
married. His only son, Hon. William Augustus Blount 
Branch, also served in the Confederate army, being at one time 
a lieutenant on the staff of General Hoke; and from 1891 to 1895 
he represented the Pamlico district in Congress; in 1905 he 
was a member of the legislature. The three daughters of General 
L. O'B. Branch were Susan, who married Robert H. Jones, 
Esq. ; Nannie, who married Armistead Jones, Esq. ; and Josephine 
(now deceased), who married the late Hon. Kerr Craige, of 
Salisbury. Mrs. Branch survived General Branch more than forty 
years, and was ever esteemed as an ornament to society and as one 
of the most distinguished and admirable of her sex. 

We cannot better close this sketch of General Branch than by 
quoting language which the Rev. James A. Weston uses with 
reference to him : 

"He was the truest of patriots. He loved his country with a deathless 
affection, and there was no sacrifice, however great, that he would not 
have made for the good of his people. His moral power was very great. 
Like Sir Galahad, his strength was as the strength of ten, because his 
heart was pure." Marshall DeLancey Haywood, 


iURING the last years of the war between the 
states, I-ayetteville became a point of great 
' interest. There were eight cotton factories in 
, that vicinity, a paper mill, the machinery of the 
k navy ordnance works, and the Confederate 
[ States" arsenal of construction. This arsenal had 
been bnilt many years before by the United States Government 
and used as a place of deposit for arms. At the beginning of the 
war it was under the command of Colonel Bradford, who had 
a few soldiers there ; later Colonel De Lagnel was assigned to the 
command, and he began to buj' and store there iron and every 
other commodity that could be of use in the ordnance service, and 
the business of construction was begun. The great development, 
however, of work there was when Colonel Frederick L. Childs 
was the commandant. Under his supervision the arsenal became 
a great workshop, employing several hundred artisans and en- 
gaging the services of several hundred laborers, and its work in 
supplying the needs of the army was most important. 

Colonel Childs was a descendant in the eighth generation from 
Samuel Childs. one of the Plymouth Colony of 1620, who was 
slain by the Indians on March 25, 1675. In the fifth generation 
was Captain Timothy Childs, who, on hearing of the battle of 
Lexington, led a company of minute-men from Deerfield, 
Mass., to Boston; his son, also Timothy, marching at the 


same time from Pittsfield, Mass., in a similar corps as lieutenant. 
The latter, afterward known as Dr. Timothy Childs, rendered, 
as did his father, great service to his country, was senator from 
Berkshire and an eminent physician. His youngest son, Thomas, 
at the age of sixteen years, entered the Military Academy at 
West Point, in May, 1813. The next year he was ordered to join 
the army in the defense of Fort Erie, and behaved with such dis- 
tinguished gallantry that he was presented with a quadrant, cap- 
tured from the British and engraved as follows : 

"Presented to Lieutenant Thomas Childs by order of the President of the 
United States for gallant conduct in the sortie from Fort Erie, and for 
spiking the guns of the enemy's batteries, at the age of seventeen years, 
September 17, 1814." 

Throughout his life, in every position, the same conspicuous 
bravery was displayed by him. He served with distinction in 
the Florida war in 1836 and 1840, and in Mexico, where he com* 
manded the battalion of artillery under General Taylor. Par- 
ticularly at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma was 
his conduct the subject of eulogium. Colonel Belknap, command- 
ing the brigade, said in his report: "Lieutenant-Colonel Childs 
needs no praise from me ; his well-earned fame, won on many a 
field, is known to all." For his Florida service he had been 
brevetted lieutenant-colonel, and now he was brevetted colonel. 
At Monterey he won imperishable renown, General Worth say- 
ing : ''The gallant Colonel Childs is safe, and covered all over with 
glory." And so it was at Vera Cruz, and in every other engage- 
ment of that campaign. For the defense of Puebla Colonel Childs 
was afterward brevetted brigadier-general. Of this defense Gen- 
eral Scott said : "Though highly arduous, gallant and triumphant, 
it has not exceeded what was expected of that excellent com- 
mander, his officers and men." 

General Childs married Miss Ann Eliza Coryton, whom he met 
at Judge Bushrod Washington's home at Mount Vernon. He was 
stationed at Eastport, Me., in 1831, and there, on February 15th 
of that year, the subject of this sketch was bom. 

Colonel Frederick L. Childs graduated at St. James College, 


Maryland, in 1851, and at the age of twenty entered West Point, 
where he graduated in 1855, and became second lieutenant of 
artillery. For two years he served in the Seminole war, and then 
for two years was assigned to duty as professor at West Point 
For some months he was on garrison duty at Fort Moultrie ; and 
at the close of 1859 ^^^ on frontier duty at Fort Clark and Fort 
Duncan in Texas, where he remained until, on March 4, 1861, 
when he resigned his commission ; and on March i6th he was ap- 
pointed captain of artillery in the Confederate army. In the first 
days of April, 1861, he was detailed for duty at Charleston, as 
assistant to the commandant of batteries on Morris Island. 

General Childs had been stationed during his son's boyhood 
at Smithville. General Woodbury, who married a daughter of 
General Childs, had been employed in constructing sea walls to 
deepen the mouth of the Cape Fear, and Mrs. Childs for some 
years resided at Wilmington ; and thus that town in a measure 
was regarded as the home of the family. Immediately after the 
fall of Fort Sumter, Major Whiting and Captain Childs came 
from Charleston to put the forts on the Cape Fear in a state 
of defense, and Captain Childs was assigned to that duty as 
chief of artillery. The writer of this sketch accompanied him, 
and together they were engaged in that work for some two 
months. The fort was quite defenseless. The work was one of 
creation. It was entirely novel. But Captain Childs addressed 
himself to it with surpassing zeal and intelligence, and was so suc- 
cessful that he soon had Fort Caswell and some of the neighbor- 
ing batteries in a fair condition for defense. In June, 1861, the 
writer was ordered by the state authorities to go to Harper's 
Ferry and superintend the removal of the rifle machinery there 
to the arsenal at Fayetteville, and about the middle of July Cap- 
tain Childs was transferred to the command of the arsenal at 
Charleston. Here his constructive work became very important. 
Within the short period of two months, twenty-eight private estab- 
lishments, of which twenty-two were in Charleston, and the others 
in Greenville, Columbia, Wilmington, etc., as well as every avail- 
able mechanic, were employed by him in preparing ordnance 


stores. Because of the scarcity of proper supplies every sort of 
substitute had to be resorted to ; and by his forethought and wise 
suggestion he induced the merchant firm of John Fraser & Com- 
pany to import many articles of great value to the Confederacy. 
On November 26, 1862, Colonel Wagner of that company wrote : 
*'Every ounce of saltpeter imported into the Confederacy they are 
indebted to you for, besides many other of the most essential arti- 
cles for our defense/' On November 30, 1862, Captain Childs 
himself wrote : "I have been much pleased to-day to find that an 
important recommendation of mine has been approved at the War 
Department, and I am ordered to carry it out. It is to freight 
the ship Mackinaw with 2200 bales of cotton and send her to 
Liverpool on a dark and stormy night." With unflagging zeal, 
great intelligence and an energy unsurpassed by any one, Captain 
Childs admirably performed the duties of his position and ren- 
dered incalculable service to the Confederacy. It was the fortune 
of the writer to have been with him at the arsenal at Charleston 
a few months in the spring and summer of 1862, and he was a 
witness of the wonderful powers of endurance of this patriotic 

During the month of November, 1862, Captain Childs was pro- 
moted to be major of artillery. He remained at the arsenal for 
eighteen months, in which time its operations had developed from 
an expenditure of a few thousand dollars per month until it 
reached (including imported stores) nearly two millions of dol- 
lars for the last quarter of 1S62. In that fall Brigadier-General 
Ripley, district commander at Charleston, assumed to give orders 
to Major Childs relative to the work at the arsenal, and his right 
to do so being questioned the matter was referred to Colonel 
Gorgas, the chief of ordnance at Richmond, who sustained Major 
Childs' position; and thenceforth throughout the war the prin- 
ciple of the independence of arsenals of the local division com- 
manders was established and acted on. In this particular matter 
both General Beauregard and General Ripley behaved discredit- 
ably. In zeal and patriotism and in a devoted performance of 
duty. Major Childs was much superior to either of them. They 


were very fussy; somewhat negligent of the business committed 
to their charge ; were surrounded by staff-officers some of whom, 
at least, were apparently incompetent; and on the occasion of 
the conflict with Major Childs were both disobedient to the army 
regulations, and lacked candor and the magnanimity which gentle- 
men in their position ought to have displayed. Because of this 
affair, although Major Childs was sustained by the War Depart- 
ment, he was early in 1863 transferred to the arsenal at Augusta, 
where he succeeded Brigadier-General Raines in command; and 
on April 17, 1863, was assigned to the still more important post, 
commandant of the arsenal at Fayetteville. In the meantime, 
however, he had urged with some vehemence that he should be 
permitted to take the field ; but the secretary of war unhesitatingly 
affirmed that he could render much more important service as 
commandant of an arsenal than with the army. At Fayetteville 
he addressed himself with great vigor to his work. He turned out 
new rifles as rapidly as possible for the army, at the same time 
making heavy gun carriages, carriages for light batteries, all sorts 
of ammunition — even the hexagonal, twisting Whitworth shell — 
rockets, fuses, caps, harness, every article known to the Ordnance 
Manual and serviceable to the army. 

The raw material for the work he had to pick up as he could, 
adapting some substitute where the proper article could not be 
obtained. He caused furnaces to be constructed in the Deep 
River section and got iron there and from South Carolina. Coke 
he had made at the Deep River coal mine ; heavy white oak timber 
and lime he got from Rocky Point, on the northeast branch of the 
Cape Fear, and leather was made for him in several counties. He 
erected many large government buildings, first making the bricks 
for the purpose. Those buildings alone would form a monument 
to his indefatigable zeal had they not been burned at the close 
of the war. Several hundred operatives and their families had 
to be maintained, and for this purpose he rented farms and had 
them cultivated, established fisheries along the Cape Fear and 
Black rivers, curing the fish with pyroligneous acid, and obtaining 
from the sturgeon quantities of fish oil needed for his department 


To feed, house and clothe this army of operatives and their 
families was in itself no inconsiderable work; and when we re- 
call the buildings he constructed, the many necessary machines he 
had to make in order to do the work of the arsenal, and, above 
aU, the difficulty of obtaining the raw material at that time, and, 
in spite of this difficulty, the great quantity of supplies of all 
kinds he manufactured for the Ordnance Department,' his per- 
formance was indeed a marvel. Indefatigable, persistent, wise, 
prudent, overcoming every obstacle that presented itself, he built 
up in time of war, when the country was denuded of men, of pro- 
visions and of all sorts of supplies, a great arsenal furnishing 
immense quantities of needed supplies to the army. 

But this work, creditable as it was to the energy of Colonel 
Childs, could not have been accomplished except for the industrial 
capabilities of his operatives and the men working under him. 
It is an evidence of those latent characteristics of the southern 
people, which, since the war, have been developed and made 
prominent by the great industrial progress that has rendered this 
era so memorable in southern life. 

On November 19, 1863, Major Childs was promoted to the rank 
of lieutenant-colonel, and in 1864, on the organization of a bat- 
talion of troops for local defense, was commissioned as colonel. 

In April, 1865, on the approach of General Sherman, Colonel 
Childs evacuated the arsenal, sending the most valuable govern- 
ment stores to Greensboro and moving his force and material 
into the Deep River country. General Sherman destroyed the 
arsenal, and Colonel Childs, together with the writer, who had 
been on duty with him at Fayetteville since September, 1863, and 
several other gentlemen, went to Charlotte, where President Davis 
and his cabinet and General Gorgas were, to obtain orders. When 
they reached Charlotte the Confederacy was in its last agonies. 
Johnston was surrendering his army; the Federal cavalry were 
in the vicinity; President Lincoln had been assassinated; some 
of the troops were in a state of demoralization, and President 
Davis and the higher officers of the Confederacy were holding 
their last consultations preliminary to a hasty departure. General 


Gorgas at first gave Colonel Childs orders to cross the Mississippi, 
but subsequently left it discretionary with him and his officers to 
return to their homes. It being evident that the Confederacy had 
fallen — with heavy hearts the party returned to Fayetteville. 

Colonel Childs married, June 12, 1856, Miss Mary Hooper An- 
derson, only daughter of Dr. W. W. Anderson, of Stateburg, 
S. C, and a sister of General R. H. Anderson, ^'Fighting Dick" 
as he was called. Mrs. Childs died at the Fayetteville arsenal in 
June, 1863, leaving several children. At the end of the war 
Colonel Childs removed his family to Stateburg. For a few 
years he engaged in farming there, and then accepted service un- 
der the New York and Charleston Steamship Company. In 1878 
he was appointed inspector for the Government on the public 
works at Charleston and Savannah, which position he held until 
1886, and during the last years of his life he was in the govern- 
ment service at Charleston. 

Colonel Childs married a second time, but had no children by 
his last wife. He died at Stateburg, South Carolina, June 10, 
1894. One of his daughters, Miss Mary Childs, is in the United 
States Forest Service at Washington; a son, William Wallace 
Childs, is in the United States service at Panama. 

S. A. Ashe. 



Ar : -'. LENOX AND 



was one of the wealthiest planters on the Roanoke; a man of 
wide reading, and with a great landed interest; he found ample 
occupation in superintending his estates and among the books of 
his large private library. He was one of the most progressive 
planters in the State. In politics he was an early follower of 
Henry Clay, but realizing that the safety of the southern states 
depended upon the preservation of the rights of the states as 
declared in the Federal Constitution, he adhered to the doctrine of 
states* rights. He possessed a strong influence among the people 
of his section, and during the war between the states was com- 
missioned by the State of North Carolina as a brigadier-general, 
and in January, 1862, was assigned to the command of the de- 
fenses of Roanoke River. The militia of seven contiguous coun- 
ties were placed under his orders, and authority conferred on him 
to impress slaves, teams and supplies for the purpose of carrying 
on the work he had in charge. When Roanoke Island fell, he 
assembled his militia at Plymouth, but subsequently fell back to 
Williamston ; he remained in command until April, when Colonel 
Leventhorpe relieved him, that being the only instance of a gen- 
eral of militia in North Carolina being called into active service 
during that war; and General Clark was assigned to this duty 
particularly because of his capabilities, his superior intelligence, 
and his influence over the militiamen of those counties. 

General Clark married Miss Anna M. Thome, of Halifax 
County, who became the mother of the subject of this sketch. 
Through the Clarks Judge Clark is descended from the Blounts, 
Grays, Norfleets, McKenzies, and other prominent families of 
northeastern North Carolina, and the Bryans of Southampton, 
Va., the same family as that from whom William Jennings Bryan 
is descended. His mother's grandfather. Dr. Samuel Thome, came 
to North Carolina just after the Revolution and located in Hali- 
fax, and through her Judge Clark is connected with the well- 
known families of Hilliard, Davis, Alston and Williams. One 
of the latter. Captain William Williams, was adjutant of the 
Fourth regiment of the Continental Line, served with distinction 
throughout the Revolutionary war, and fell severely wounded at 


the battle of Germantown. Through him Judge Clark is de- 
scended from Gilbert Johnston, a brother of Governor Gabriel 
Johnston. And through the Thomes he is also related to General 
Warren, the distinguished corps commander of the United States 

At an early age Walter Clark became a student first under 
Professor Ralph H. Graves in Granville County, and in i860 at 
Colonel Tew's military academy near Hillsboro. In the spring of 
1861, before he was fifteen years of age, being proficient in the 
driU, he was among the cadets of that institution who on recom- 
mendation of its officers were appointed by the governor to drill 
the troops assembled at Camp Ellis, near Raleigh. Upon the 
organization of the Twenty-second North Carolina regiment in 
July, he was assigned to duty as drill-master for that regiment, 
commanded by Colonel J. Johnston Pettigrew, and proceeded with 
it to Virginia. He continued to act in that capacity in its camp 
at Evansport, on the Potomac, until November, when he returned 
to Camp Mangum, at Raleigh, where the Thirty-fifth North Caro- 
lina was being organized. In February, 1862, resigning, he re- 
turned to the military academy and resumed his studies. On Au- 
gust I, 1862, he was appointed, upon the solicitation of its officers, 
who had known him at the camp of instruction, first lieutenant and 
adjutant of the Thirty-fifth North Carolina, of which Matthew W. 
Ransom had then become the colonel, and joining his regiment he 
participated in the first Maryland and Fredericksburg campaigns. 
In the latter battle his brigade held Marye's Heights and drove 
back, among others, Meagher's famous Irish brigade. 

Being then just sixteen years of age and rather small, the 
soldiers of the regiment called him endearingly "little Clark,** and 
as he performed his duties with great acceptability he became a 
general favorite and enjoyed the esteem and respect of both offi- 
cers and men. It is narrated that when going into the battle of 
Sharpsburg all the field officers had dismounted except 'iittle 
Oark," who remained unconcerned in the saddle, when a big 
mountain private from Company B ran forward and seizing him 
exclaimed : "Git ofT'n this horse, or you'll git killed," and just at 


that moment a minie ball struck the young adjutant on the hand, 
the mark of which remains to this day. He behaved in that battle 
and in the battle of Fredericksburg with coolness and distin- 
guished intrepidity, and was of particular service in handling the 

In February, 1863, the regiment having returned to North Caro- 
lina to recruit and to render local service and being thus tem- 
porarily detached from the Army of Northern Virginia, there 
seeming to be no early prospect of further active service, Adjutant 
Clark resigned with the purpose of completing his education, and 
entered as a student at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with first 
distinction on June 2, 1864; for he had always been an excellent 
scholar, and even in camp had continued to study his Latin and 
Greek. The day after he graduated he was elected major of the 
Sixth battalion of Junior Reserves, then organized for active ser- 
vice by Lieutenant-General Holmes ; and under his command the 
battalion did service at Goldsboro, at Weldon, and at Gaston, pro- 
tecting the railroad bridge from a threatened cavalry raid. 

On July 4th his battalion and the First were consolidated into a 
regiment, that became the Seventieth North Carolina regiment of 
state troops, and in pursuance of orders the company officers 
proceeded to an election of field officers for the regiment. Charles 
W. Broadfoot was elected colonel, Walter Clark lieutenant- 
colonel, and N. A. Gregory major, and they accepted their posi- 
tions. Lieutenant-Colonel Clark was then seventeen years of 
age and the youngest officer of his rank in either army. Subse- 
quently, however, at the request of Lieutenant-General Holmes, 
who desired that his chief of staff, Lieutenant-Colonel Armistead, 
should have the position of colonel of the regiment, as he felt con- 
fident that Colonel Armistead would in that case without delay 
be appointed brigadier-general of a brigade to be composed of the 
Junior Reserves, and Colonel Broadfoot and Lieutenant-Colonel 
Clark would then by promotion resume the respective positions to 
which they had been elected, they relinquished their positions for 
this temporary purpose, and consented that a new election should 
be held, at which F. S. Armistead was elected colonel, C. W. 


Broad foot lieutenant-colonel, and Walter Clark major. Although 
this arrangement was expected to last for only a brief period, for 
some reason Colonel Armistead was not appointed brigadier-gen- 
eral, and Major Clark continued to serve during the remainder 
of the war as major of his regiment. 

In October the regiment was sent to repel a threatened Federal 
raid on Boykin's Depot, Va., and toward the end of that month 
was ordered to the defense of Plymouth, which, however, was 
captured before it reached that point, although the march was so 
expeditious as to have won a high compliment from General 
Baker, the commanding general. The regiment then went into 
camp near Hamilton and rendered arduous and important out- 
post service, covering the approaches to Martin, Edgecombe and 
Pitt counties, whence large supplies were being drawn for the 
support of Lee's army. 

Early in November four companies under Major Oark were 
despatched to Williamston, and Major Qark took command of 
the post, embracing cavalry and infantry as well as artillery. For 
one so young this was an important conmiand ; and perhaps no 
other instance occurred during the war where an officer only eigh- 
teen years of age was intrusted with the responsible duty of hold- 
ing such an exposed outpost, defended by a force embracing every 
arm of the service ; but Major Clark bore himself so well as to 
justify the confidence reposed in him. Captain Moore, speaking 
of him at that time, says : **He had the bearing and command of a 
born soldier and displayed the executive talent which he has since 
shown." "The enemy," says Captain Moore, "made many attacks, 
especially at Foster's Mills and Gardner's Bridge, but were always 
driven back." On one occasion Major Clark, having driven them 
off, pursued them, with a part of the cavalry, three companies of 
infantry and a section of artillery, nearly to Jamesville, but they 

In December, 1864, receiving a furlough, instead of spending 
it at home, he visited his old commander, General M. W. Ran- 
som, and his old comrades in the trenches around Petersburg, 
though he had to go by way of Greensboro, as the Weldon 


route was closed by the enemy. The regiment was at the repulse 
of the gunboats at Poplar Point, December 25, 1864, and in many 
minor encounters, and continued to perform active and arduous 
service in that part of North Carolina until about the middle of 
February, when it was ordered to Kinston and attached to Hoke's 
division as a part of the First Brigade of Reserves, General L. S. 
Baker being in command of the brigade. On March 8th the regi- 
ment participated in the battle of Kinston, moving into action 
handsomely and driving the enemy from behind their temporary 
breastworks, and captured some prisoners, but lost some of their 
own men. From Kinston the brigade moved to Smithfield to join 
General Johnston, and on March 19th, a bright Sunday morning, it 
engaged the advance corps of Sherman's army at Bentonville, 
which was held in check three days, the 19th, 20th and 21st of 
March. Some two hundred yards in front of the Confederate line 
was the skirmish line of each brigade on the 20th and 21st of 
March, and Major Walter Clark was in command of the skirmish 
line in advance of Nethercutt's brigade. During the two days 
that Hoke's division held its position, the enemy repeatedly 
charged and generally drove in the skirmishers along the front, 
but being favored by the ground or for some other cause, the skir- 
mish line under Major Clark gallantly .held its position the entire 
period. No brigade made a finer appearance on that field than 
the Junior Reserves. It was the largest brigade in Hoke's di- 
vision, and it bore itself with such bravery and gallantry as to win 
the highest encomiums from General Hoke and all the veterans 
on that last field of battle. While Sherman was resting at Golds- 
boro, General Johnston remained at Smithfield, but on April loth 
Johnston began to retire before Sherman's advancing army. On 
the 1 2th the Seventieth regiment passed through Raleigh, and 
then to Red Cross in Randolph County, where, on the afternoon 
of May 2d, Major Clark with his associates in arms were paroled; 
and then they dispersed to their respective homes. 

As soon as order was restored. Major Clark, who had entered 
upon the study of the law under Judge William H. Battle while a 
student at the university, became a student in a law office in Wall 


Street, New York. Later, completinghis course at the Columbian Law 
School in Washington, D. C, he obtained his license to practice in 
January, 1867. At first he located at Scotland Neck, but subse- 
quently removed to Halifax, where he entered into partnership with 
Hon. J. M. Mullen and soon established a lucrative business. 

Active and energetic and a leading Democrat in his county, he 
was twice the local standard-bearer of the Democratic party ;• and 
although the Republican party had a majority of more than 2500 
which he could not hope to overcome^ he made his campaigns with 
such address as to largely reduce the vote against him. In January, 
1874, he had the good fortune to marry Miss Susan Graham, the 
otily daughter of Hon. William A. Graham, and they have an in- 
teresting family of children, full of promise and much admired. 

Being desirous of residing at the state capital, where larger op- 
portunities would be opened to him professionally, he had removed 
to Raleigh in November, 1873, and soon became one of the lead- 
ing influences in the Democratic party. He became interested in 
the Raleigh News, which had been established by Stone and 
Uzzell, and for some years contributed editorially to its columns 
and directed the policy of the paper. His writings were remark- 
able for their conciseness and clearness, and were marked by bold- 
ness and vigor and a thorough mastery of the details of every sub- 
ject he touched upon. Perhaps the most famous of his editorial 
discussions was that known as the *'Mud Cut Boom," in which 
he pointed out a great obstacle that had arisen in the construction 
of the Western North Carolina Railroad in crossing the Blue Ridge, 
and which soon after led to the sale of that road by the state. 

Judge Clark was not only a student of law but had a fondness 
for literature, was an indefatigable worker, and admirably exe- 
cuted such literary work as he undertook. He prepared a very 
interesting and valuable historical summary of Methodism in 
North Carolina, and because of his accomplishments and strong 
character attained a high place in the regard of the members of 
his church. In 1881 he was chosen as the lay delegate for North 
Carolina to the Methodist Ecumenical Council in London, and 
availed himself of that occasion to travel extensively in Europe. 


He was twice a delegate to the General Conference, and it was 
largely due to him that all the Methodists of this State were or- 
ganized into two North Carolina conferences, instead of being in 
part portioned out among the Virginia, South Carolina and Ten- 
nessee conferences as before. 

In April, 1885, Governor Scales appointed him judge of the 
superior court for the metropolitan district, and the next year 
he was nominated to succeed himself and was elected by the 
people. In 1888 his friends brought him forward as a candi- 
date for governor, another aspirant for the nomination being 
lieutenant-governor Charles M. Stedman; but during the pre- 
liminary discussion the name of Hon. Daniel G. Fowle was 
brought forward, thus making two candidates from Raleigh, and 
Judge Clark, unwilling to embarrass the mutual friends of him- 
self and Judge Fowle, withdrew from the contest. Judge Fowle 
was elected, and somewhat later, Judge Merrimon, of the Su- 
preme Court, becoming chief justice, Judge Clark was transferred 
to the Supreme Bench in November, 1889, ^^^ was subsequently 
elected to that position in 1890. In 1894 he was nominated by 
the Democratic party, and being also indorsed by the Republican 
and Populist parties, was unanimously elected by the people. In 
1896, being still on the Supreme Court Bench, he was virtually 
tendered the nomination for governor by the Democratic state 
convention, but did not accept it, preferring at that time to remain 
on the Bench. In that year also his name was presented by the 
North Carolina delegation to the National Democratic Conven- 
tion for the vice-presidency. In 1902 he was nominated for the 
office of chief justice and was elected to that position, which by 
his learning, virtues and character he adorns. His opinions to 
date appear in thirty-four volumes of North Carolina Supreme 
Court Reports, beginning with 104 N. C. 

Judge Clark has been an indefatigable worker, and his con- 
tributions to literature have been numerous and notable. Be- 
sides the preparation of his judicial opinions, he has annotated 
and edited forty-three volumes of North Carolina Supreme 
Court Reports and has other volumes in preparation. He is the 


author of an "Annotated Code of Civil Procedure," of which three 
editions have been issued. This has been a great boon to the pro- 
fession, his thoroughness equaling his industry. He is the editor 
of the well-known article "Appeal and Error," consisting of about 
500 pages in the Cyclopedia of Law, and has prepared another 
important article for that work on "Indictments and Informa- 
tions." He is also the author of two or three other legal works 
of lesser importance. He has wandered beyond the domain of 
l^;al lore, and gained much reputation by his translation of Con- 
stant's "Private Memoirs of Napoleon," in three volumes. He 
has contributed many articles to the leading magazines of the 
country and made many addresses, among them to the Bar As- 
sociation of Tennessee, Kansas and Virginia, and before the Na- 
tional Association of Railroad Commissioners at Denver, Colo. 
For the most part he has directed attention to new subjects and 
has taken advanced ground on many public questions; one of 
his addresses in 1906, pointing out needed amendments of the 
Federal Constitution, attracted wide attention. His views on 
these public matters have clashed with many whose interests lead 
them to adhere to the existing status, so that he has been an object 
of their unremitting warfare, and when the time approached for 
his nomination for the position of chief justice, he was vigorously 
opposed and violently assailed; but the weapons of his adver- 
saries fell harmlessly at his feet, and the Democratic convention 
conferred upon him the nomination with unparalleled unanimity 
and he was elected by nearly 61,000 majority. He stands for the 
broad interests of humanity and the rights of men rather than 
for the conservation of the privileges that aggregated wealth has 
secured through the powerful influences it has been able to wield ; 
and so widely has he become known as an earnest and progressive 
statesman and so highly is he esteemed that, in 1904, Mr. Wil- 
liam J. Bryan, who had twice been the Democratic nominee for 
the presidency, suggested that Judge Clark was one of the few 
he deemed worthy to be nominated by the Democratic party for 
the presidency. 

Many of his articles are of an historical character, relating 


to episodes in North Carolina history ; his chief work in this line 
has been the preparation of the ** State Records/' a continuation of 
the valuable publication begun by Colonel Saunders, running 
through sixteen quarto volumes, which entailed on him vast labor 
and is of the highest historical value. Another great work of still 
higher interest is that known as the **Regimental Histories," em- 
braced in five volumes, in which is preserved the record of each 
North Carolina regiment, battalion and division during the war 
between the states. To Judge Clark is due the conception as 
well as the compilation of this memorial of the courage and 
patriotic services of the soldiers of North Carolina in that great 
war. The method employed in executing the design is admirable, 
recording the story of each organization, while the articles pre- 
pared by some competent member of each regiment are themselves 
of unusual merit. In accomplishing the publication of these two 
great works of the State, Judge Clark has rendered a most im- 
portant service to the people of the State and to posterity. Both 
of these works have been executed by him as a labor of love, 
without any pecuniary compensation whatever. 

During his whole career he has been astute to place the State 
on a high plane and promote such action as would redound to the 
credit of North Carolina ; indeed, it was at his suggestion that the 
motto for the seal of the State was adopted : **Esse quam videri," 
and he has also brought into prominence the expression, "First 
at Bethel and last at Appomattox." 

His own contributions to war literature have of themselves been 
valuable and excite admiration. He was chairman of the commit- 
tee to make reply to the strictures of the Virginia Camp of Con- 
federate Veterans upon the claims of patriotic action by North 
Carolina during the war, and he performed the duty assigned him 
to the eminent satisfaction of the people of the State. Indeed, 
there has been no man of more versatile gifts and unremitting 
labor than Judge Clark, nor has any other of North Carolina's 
sons done more to preserve the memorials of her people and 
to perpetuate a remembrance of the glorious deeds that have em- 
blazoned the annals of the State. S. A. Ashe. 


HE bar of the city of Charlotte has always 
held an enviable place in the legal annals of 
North Carolina. As one generation of success- 
ful practitioners passes away, another supplies 
its place, and the Queen City loses none of its 

Among the lawyers who have grown to manhood since the war 
between the states, and now are located in Charlotte, few have 
succeeded so well as Heriot Clarkson, of the firm of Clarkson & 
Duls. Mr. Clarkson was born at Kingsville, a small village in 
Richland County, S, C. At the time of his birth (August 21, 
1863) his mother had come with her family of children from 
Charleston to escape the attack upon that city by the five monitors. 
Mr, Ctarkson's father was Major William Clarkson, of Charles- 
ton, whose wife was Margaret S. Simons. Major Clarkson was 
an officer in the Confederate army. As lieuttnant he commanded 
the sharp-shooters in Fort Sumter on April 7, 1863, when the 
Federal forces attacked Charleston. Prior to the war, Major 
Qarkson was a planter, and afterward engaged in the railroad 
service. Both the families of Clarkson and Simons were held in 
high esteem in South Carolina, and they now have a joint repre- 
sentative in the person of Heriot Clarkson, whose life in his 
adopted State has well measured up to the record of his ances- 
tors. Among the patriots of the Revolution from whom he is 


lineally descended were Colonel Maurice Simons and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Robert Heriot. The first of the Simons family to settle 
in South Carolina was Benjamin Simons, who came to America 
from France shortly after the Edict of Nantes was revoked in 
1685. Among the other ancestors of Heriot Clarkson was Gabriel 
Marion, father of General Francis Marion, of Revolutionary 
fame. He is also a lineal descendant of Thomas Boston, the great 
Scotch divine. 

As was the case with so many southern families, the Clarkson 
family had its entire property swept away by the vicissitudes of 
war, and in early boyhood Heriot Clarkson was forced to acquire 
those habits of industry which have so distinguished him as a 
lawyer of maturer years. His first labor, however, was not brain- 
work, but manual labor of a varied character — working the gar- 
den, cutting wood, and in other ways aiding to lighten the bur- 
dens of his parents. At the age of sixteen it became necessary 
that he should give up his studies at the Carolina Military Insti- 
tute of Charlotte (conducted by Colonel John P. Thomas), 
where he was a pupil, and seek some remunerative employment. 
He entered the law office of Colonel H. C. Jones and General 
R. D. Johnston, and there made himself useful in various capaci- 
ties, doing the chores of the office, keeping books, etc. At the 
end of four years he had saved three hundred dollars, and with 
this capital he set out for the University Law School at Chapel 
Hill, where he spent about nine months in 1884, 21s a student under 
Dr. John Manning, then professor of law in that institution. He 
made the highest marks in the class. He received his license as 
a lawyer from the Supreme Court of North Carolina at Octo- 
ber term, 1884. Immediately thereafter he began the practice of 
law at Charlotte. He was alderman and vice-mayor of Charlotte 
in 1887-88, and held the same posts in 1891-92. In 1899 he was 
a member of the house of representatives of North Carolina. He 
was a strong advocate of "white supremacy." It was at this ses- 
sion that the constitutional amendment was submitted to the 
people and was passed which eliminated to a great extent the 
negro vote from politics in North Carolina. In 1901 Mr. Clark- 


son became city attorney of Charlotte, and held that office for f our 
years. He twice codified the city ordinances of Charlotte, once in 
1887 and again in 1901. In the North Carolina Booklet for Oc- 
tober, 1 90 1, he contributed an article on Charlotte, entitled "The 
Hornets' Nest." 

As a Mason, Mr. Qarkson belongs to Phalanx Lodge, No. 31, 
A. F. and A. M., at Charlotte ; he is also a noble of the Mystic 
Shrine (Oasis Temple), a member of the Knights of Pythias 
and of the Junior Order of United American Mechanics. He also 
holds a membership in the Society of Sons of the Revolution and 
is an honorary member of the Society of the Cincinnati. He is a 
member of the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, joining 
through the Marion, Horry and Simons families. Mr. Clarkson 
was for some time a lieutenant of the Hornets' Nest Riflemen of 
Charlotte, and was chief marshal at the time of the unveiling of 
the monument to the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of 
Independence. He is an Episcopalian in religion, and has been 
closely identified with church work. He built as a memorial to 
his father St. Andrew's Chapel, near Charlotte. For many years 
he has been a vestr));nian of St. Peter's Episcopal Church at Char- 
lotte. Few men in North Carolina have been so closely identi- 
fied with the cause of temperance as has Mr. Clarkson. Speaking 
of his sentiments on this subject, he says : "My strongest ambi- 
tion as a boy was to see the saloons abolished in Charlotte. I saw 
early the great evil they did. Every public office I ever held I 
held as an opponent of the saloon. On July 5, 1904, Charlotte was 
carried for prohbition by 485 majority, and I led the contest as 
chairman of the Anti-Saloon League." 

He has always been a strong party Democrat and has never 
voted any other ticket, often disagreeing with the party, but be- 
lieving that unwavering allegiance to the Democratic party was 
the only course to obtain good government in the South. He has 
been a member for many years, and is now, of the State Demo- 
cratic Executive Committee. He was opposed to fusion on the 
electoral ticket in 1896, but followed the standard-bearer of his 
party loyally. 


The first "White Supremacy'* club in recent years formed 
in North Carolina, with ''white supremacy" and "white labor" as 
its only platform, was organized by him and a few others in Char- 
lotte before the election of 1896, and numbered about six hundred 
members. Then Asheville, Winston and Wilmington formed simi- 
lar clubs. He was a strong advocate of the white man's resolution 
passed by only two votes by the Democratic Executive Committee 
of the State, which did so much to help redeem North Carolina. 
He is an advocate of a registered primary for white men to nomi- 
nate all state and county officers under the auspices of the Demo- 
cratic party. He drew up the platform on which Hon. John D. 
Bellamy was nominated, and which was unanimously adopted 
without change by the committee and convention. The 
platform was received with enthusiasm by the convention 
which was held in Wilmington. Subsequent events show how 
nobly the people carried out the declaration : "We do hereby de- 
clare our determination that white supremacy through white men 
shall control and rule North Carolina." The platform reads as 
follows : 

"We do most heartily reiterate the resolution qf the State Executive 
Committee in which all white electors are cordially invited to participate 
in our primaries and conventions, and do call upon all white men who 
love their home and native land to join with us in the great battle in 
North Carolina now waged for the supremacy of the white man and 
against the corrupt and intolerable government now given us by designing 
white men joining with the negro, and we do hereby declare our deter- 
mination that white supremacy through white men shall control and rule 
North Carolina." 

He has been in full sympathy with the industrial upbuilding of 
the State, and was one of the charter members of the Piedmont 
Fire Insurance Company, established a few years ago in North 
Carolina. He was, in the legislature of 1899, an advocate of a 
textile school for North Carolina, and is a firm believer in **trade 
education." Through his efforts there passed the house, in 1899, 
by twenty-two votes, a bill establishing a textile school in con- 
nection with the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Raleigh. 
This was the beginning of the agitation which ended in the build- 



ing and equipping of the preset 
tnral and Mechanical College. He 
10 have Elizabeth College located at ( 
irifory board. He also started the Buil 
of Charlotte. 

In 1888 he formed a parlnersl p to practice law with Mr. C, H. 

1 ing at the Agricul- 
his partner did much 
lotte and is on the ad- 
; and Loan Association 

E irried to Miss Mary 

bom eight children, 

I a is a daughter of 

on of the Convocation 

On December 10, 1889, Mr, Clarl 

Uoyd Osborne, and to this union 

five of whom are now living. s 

the Rev. Edwin A. Osborne, no 
of Charlotte, who won fame in the Confederate army as colonel 
of the Fourth North Carohna rt nient, and was afterward chap- 
Iain of the Second North Carolina regiment of United States 
Volunteers in the war with Spain. Archdeacon Osborne belongs 
to the historic Osborne family which has so conspicuously figured 
in the annals of North Carolina. 

Mr. Clarkson was appointed tor of the twelfth judicial 

district by Governor C. B. Aycock in 1904- Judge W. A. Hoke 
was judge of the district, and was elected to the Supreme Court 
Bench. Mr. J. L. Webb, the solicitor, was appointed to succeed 
Judge Hoke. If the appointment of judge had fallen to Governor 
R. B. Glenn he would have appointed Mr. Clarkson, He was 
nominated by the Democrats by acclamation for solicitor to suc- 
ceed himself in 1906. Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 


company his father and himself are respectively president and 
vice-president. The plant is the largest of its kind in the South. 
Moreover, his father has not employed all his energies as a manu- 
facturer, but has taken part in politics and has been alert to the 
other demands of good citizenship. He has, for instance, repre- 
sented his district in the state senate. 

So much for the pedigree of Stuart W. Cramer as an American. 
From his mother he derives his distinctively southern strain. 
Thomasville was founded by and named after her father, John 
W. Thomas, who was a planter and a man of affairs. He was 
a director in the North Carolina Railroad and a number of other 
financial and educational organizations, and was a member of the 
state senate. 

Mr. Cramer's preparatory education was under the care of 
the noted teacher, the late I. L. Wright, whose school was two 
miles from Thomasville. He graduated from the Naval Academy 
in 1888, resigned from the navy, and, in order to complete his 
education as an engineer, spent a year as a post-graduate student 
in the School of Mines, Columbia University. 

In 1889, having finished the course at Columbia, Mr. Cramer 
was married to Miss Bertha Hobart Berry, of Portland, Me., 
and the same year returned south to take the position of assayer 
in charge of the United States assay office at Charlotte, where 
he has since resided. His wife died in August, 1895, and was 
survived by two children. Some time thereafter he was married 
to his first wife's sister, Miss Kate Stanwood Berry, who after 
her marriage lived but a few months. His third marriage, in 
January, 1902, was to Miss Rebecca Warren Tinkham, of Boston, 
a great-granddaughter of Joshua Bennett, of Bennett Hall, Bil- 
lerica, Mass. By this last marriage he has one son. 

During the time when Mr. Cramer was in charge of the assay 
office in Charlotte he made a number of reports on the gold and 
silver production of the South ; prepared the. chapter on gold and 
silver mining in the South for the census of 1890; and acted as 
a special correspondent of the Engineering and Mining Journal 
of New York and other technical periodicals. For two years at 


this period he was commander of the Naval Reserve for North 
Carolina, having organized it himself at the request of an old 
friend of his grandfather Thomas, Governor Thomas M. Holt. 

He held the position of assayer nearly four years, resigning in 
1893 to enter the employment of the D. A. Tompkins Company, 
of the same city, of which company he soon became manager. 

After something more than two years' service with the Tomp- 
kins Company, Mr. Cramer, in the fall of 1895, went into busi- 
ness for himself as an engineer and contractor. His specialty 
was the designing and equipping of cotton mills. The backbone 
of the great business which he has built up has been the agency 
in the South for the Whitin Machine Works, of Whitinsville, 
Mass., the Woonsocket Machine and Press Company, of Woon- 
socket, R. L, and the Kitson Machine Shop, of Lowell, Mass. 
He is and has been either the agent or southern manager for 
numbers of other large manufacturers of textile machinery and 
the miscellaneous and sundry equipment, including power plants, 
that goes to the building of cotton mills. He has had much to 
do with electric-power mills, and has contributed much to the 
science of their construction. One of his gifts to the art of elec- 
tric transmission of power, so far as the driving' of textile ma- 
chinery is concerned, is the well-known * 'Cramer spinning drive." 

So nearly perfect is the organization of his great business that 
he has been able to do an immense amount of work. As an engi- 
neer he has designed and furnished complete plans and specifica- 
tions for over a hundred and fifty cotton mills; and as a con- 
tractor he has furnished not only those mills their machinery and 
equipment, but approximately an equal number of other mills 
designed by other engineers. In short, as contractor he has sup- 
plied some three hundred southern cotton mills, from Virginia 
to Texas, with machinery, many of the contracts ranging from 
a quarter million to a million dollars each. 

In the course of such a business Mr. Cramer naturally con- 
tributed to the improvement of methods both of designing and 
equipping mills. Many of his inventions have been patented, 
some of them in foreign countries as well as in the United States. 


system of air conditioning, known by his name, for the pur- 
pose of improving atmospheric conditions in cotton and other 
mills, is patented in this and foreign countries, and is unique in 
being the only system that provides for complete ventilation, 
liiunidif]ring and air cleansing, accompanied by an automatic reg- 
tdation which maintains any desired and predetermined scale of 
temperature and humidity. This invention has in mind not only 
the economic success of the manufacturer in the lessening of 
waste and in the general improvement, of the conduct of manu- 
facturing, but also the comfort and health of the operatives, ren- 
dering it possible at moderate cost to maintain hygienic atmos- 
pheric conditions in mills superior to those found in even the best 

The work by which Mr. Cramer is best known to the cotton- 
mill trade, however, is the second edition of his handbook of 
'^Useful Information for Cotton Manufacturers," a compilation 
which he first edited and published in a volume of pocket size, 
containing about a hundred pages. The grateful reception by 
the trade of this little pocket handbook soon impelled Mr. Cramer 
to the preparation of a second edition. With the purpose of 
making it a standard reference book, he went into it more ambi- 
tiously — so ambitiously that its preparation and publication re- 
quired some seven years of close application. It is comprised 
in three volumes of over thirteen hundred pages in all. No con- 
tribution similar to this work has been made to the commercial 
and scientific literature of any other industry. It covers, in all 
its details, the complete equipment of a cotton mill, embracing 
not only the architecture and engineering, the complete outfit of 
machinery, but a vast accumulation of contributory and valuable 
information relating to the mill itself, its organization and its 
operation. Though the work was not for sale, it cost seven years 
of time and toil and many thousands of dollars. It was for free 
distribution to cotton-mill men upon application, particularly to 
the mill men of the South, for which section it was especially 
prepared and is especially applicable. 

With this great record of achievement behind him, Mr. Cramer 


is a young man, thoroughly wrapped up in his business and alert 
to keep his standard of mill engineering abreast of the best in 
the world. Only recently he has traveled in England, France, 
Germany, Austria and Belgium, where he enjoyed courteous 
treatment and was received as a visitor in many of the largest 
factories of Europe and allowed to investigate their equipment, 
operation and construction. He has kept in close touch with the 
cotton-milling industry in our own eastern states and in Canada. 
A few years ago he traveled through the West Indies, looking into 
the possibilities of those islands for the development of cotton 
milling. His business has so grown that only the first of this 
year (1907) he has completed and moved into a fine new ofHce 
building on the court-house square. He is now erecting, in con- 
nection with his office building, a shop for the manufacture of air 
conditioners and automatic regulators. The whole building is 
occupied by his main offices, drafting rooms, etc. He also has a 
branch office in Atlanta, Ga. 

Mr. Cramer is a member of the Graduates' Associations of 
the United States Naval Academy and Columbia University; 
of the United States Naval Institute and the American Institute 
of Electrical Engineers; of the Engineers* Club of New York 
City; of the Southern Manufacturers' Club, of Charlotte, N. C; 
of the National Association of Cotton Manufacturers and the 
American Cotton Manufacturers' Association; of the National 
Association of the Manufacturers of the United States; and of 
a number of lesser societies, clubs, and so on. He is a director 
in many cotton mills, banks and other institutions, and owns the 
controlling interest in the Cramer Furniture Company at Thomas- 
ville, N. C. 

Judging merely from the foregoing statement of facts, one 
would hardly wager that Mr. Cramer is in any degree given to 
social pleasures or that his tastes would run to art and sports. 
This, however, is true. He has a passionate love for music and 
a highly cultivated discrimination in it. He has several times 
been president of musical festivals in the Carolinas. In his resi- 
dence he has installed the largest and most valuable pipe organ 


Colonel Josq)h J. Erwin's early years were spent at his birth- 
place, the home of his father, Bellevue, three miles north of Mor- 
ganton, near the banks of Upper Creek, in Burke County. After 
the usual training in the village academy at Morganton, he went 
to Washington College, now Washington and Lee University, at 
Lexington, Va., where in 1829, at the age of eighteen, he grad- 
uated with honor; he afterward studied law. He was aid-de- 
camp, with rank of colonel, to Governor William A. Graham, 
who was his lifelong friend and for whom he had the highest 
esteem, honoring him as one of our purest statesmen. Like his 
father and grandfather before him, he became clerk of the court 
of Burke County. He afterward served several terms in the 
state legislature. While there, in 1864, he was the able and 
trusted adviser of Governor Vance, his friend and kinsman, who 
says of him in this connection : 

"He stood square up to me and rejected all weak-kneed prospositions 
looking to North Carolina obtaining separate terms for herself, saying 
again and again that we all ought to hang together and take a common 
fate. He was the soul of integrity and moral courage and had as nice a 
sen<e of honor as any Paladin of romance." 

On June 9, 1847, he married Miss Elvira J. Holt, the daughter 
of Dr. William R. and Mary Allen Holt, of Lexington, N. C. She 
was a woman of great strength of mind and nobleness of char- 
acter. The first years of their married life were spent in Ruther- 
ford County, where Colonel Erwin was engaged in gold mining. 
After the death of his father he acceded to the wish of his mother 
and took possession of the old homestead, Bellevue, in 1853. 
Here he spent the remaining years of his life, cultivating to a 
high degree the many acres which comprised this splendid prop- 

From his youth up till his death, November 20, 1879, little short 
of three score years and ten, Joseph J. Erwin lived a life of spot- 
less integrity. While holding many offices of public trust, he yet 
preferred to do good in the quiet walks of life rather than in the 
glare of publicity. Blessed with a superb body, slight and active, 


a well-balanced mind, and a pure and childlike nature, he looked 
life straight in the face, endured with courage its ills and reverses 
and thankfully partook of its joys and blessings. Of singularly 
modest deportment, that charity that never faileth was one of the 
chief graces of his life. He never lost an opportunity of giving 
a kindly word of sympathy or advice to those in need, while his 
face and alms were never turned away from any poor man. His 
methods of farming were exceptionally intelligent and scientific 
and much in advance of those then used in that section of country. 
His lands were kept constantly in the highest state of cultivation 
and their yield was both bountiful and of more than usual quality. 
He was preeminently a man of peace, loved the Union and the old 
flag, and hoped to the last that the civil war might be averted, 
believing that the enlightened nations of the Christian world 
should not go to war, but arbitrate their differences. When his 
State seceded, however, he went with the State and was a 
staunch supporter of the Confederacy, though too old to bear 
arms. While his soul wearied of the horrors of war, he 
longed for peace and said, *'I want peace, but only an honorable 

I can hardly do better in this connection than quote an estimate 
of Colonel Erwin's character, written at the time of his death, by 
a friend and neighbor. Colonel W. S. Pearson, of Morganton : 

"Colonel Erwin was a model of the old time southern planter as de- 
veloped under the mild partriarchal form of slavery. Shall we ever sec 
successors more worthy of the bountiful esteem, less loving of self, more 
loving of country, less afraid of what man could do unto them, more 
humble in the worship of the living God? Have we forgotten the example 
of those to whom we owe the goodly heritage of residence and citizenship 
in this blessed Old North State of ours? They are entitled to the highest 
praise for having organized society on the basis that made hospitality uni- 
versal among people, honesty the pole star of the rulers and godliness the 
test of the priest. Nothing written of Colonel Erwin would be complete 
without reference to his Christian character, the key to the whole machin- 
ery of the man. Though bred a Presb)rterian, he never connected himself 
with any branch of the church till the summer visitation of Bishop Atkin- 
son in 1858, when he was confirmed. To believe and act upon the belief, 
that all things work together for good to those that love the Lord, to 


bear a£3ictions and losses without complaint, to visit the widow and father- 
less, to obey those in authority, all these were cardinal maxims often re- 
peated and steadily adhered to. He remembered that the great apostle to 
the Gentiles had enjoined the duty of hospitality. Who that has ever 
enjoyed the delightful welcome of his roof can forget his old-time 
courtesy, the merry twinkle of his fine dark eye when an apt word of 
humor was thrown into the dialogue, his companionable freedom with the 
ytnmger members of his household, the charity of his criticism, his un- 
speakable scorn for a mean act duly proven? His patriotism, his intelli- 
gent approval or disapproval of public men or measures, his acquaintance 
with crop statistics and the improved methods of farming, his wise con- 
servatism in matters of church, his fondness for good roads and other 
pnblic improvements — ^these were the topics on which he could best be 
persuaded to converse with freedom and friendly ease. He was the steady 
and interested friend of all young men who wished to do something in the 
world. With such he was companionable, frank, advisory, and sympathetic. 
Not cynical nor given to the denunciation of the world and the world's 
treatment of men, but hopeful and ever urging self-reliance as the key- 
stone to the archway of success. 

''For many years he was a faithful vestryman of Grace Protestant Epis- 
copal Church. He was also one of the early members of the Catawba 
Valley Lodge of F. & A. Masons. 

"An ample purse, a noble country seat and the most cultured family 
surroundings enabled him, until the general wreck of the State in 1865, 
to dispense the old-fashioned southern hospitality. He had loved the Con- 
federacy with a great, deep, heroic love and had hugged the hope of her 
admittance among the nations, to the very last. Long past the age of 
active ser\ice and having no son who had reached it, he spent his efforts in 
relieving the cry of the widow and orphan for bread, in encouraging the 
doubters, and in keeping up the tone of his country in general. When at 
last the curtain fell on that scene of blood. Colonel Erwin felt that grum- 
bling was the last business in which a true man could engage. Sadly hurt 
in heart and purse, advanced in yeafs and having on him the care and 
education of a large family, he resolutely set to work with the spirit of an 
eighteen year old. Proud of his farm and his skill in fanning he made the 
old acres to yield as they had never done before. Prudent management 
was finally able to relieve him of heavy security obligations, and so while 
the country was undergoing the greatest of her many political revolutions, 
he shouldered his own heavy burden and bore it with a quiet, uncomplain- 
ing spirit such as all who witnessed must have envied, till at last his shat- 
tered frame and wearied limbs gave way and he fell back on a support 
which he had long before provided for his time of trouble, and had per- 
fect rest." 


1 quote again from another of Morganton's gifted sons, the late 
Isaac Erwin Avery, the occasion being the death of Mrs. Joseph 
J. Erwin : 

"Bellevue, a magnificent property, situated on the banks of Upper Creek, 
had been granted to Alexander Erwin in 1780, though the Erwins had 
lived on the estate prior to that time. For a century Alexander, James, 
and Joseph Erwin were prominent men highly esteemed in public and 
private life. For fifty years they held consecutively the office of clerk of 
the county court of Burke County, and they always worked for the practi- 
cal betterment of the life around them. Joseph J. Erwin is still held up 
as a model in Burke County, as a man who filled a long life so worthily 
that when he died no man found sign of error in all the years nor any- 
thing but good deeds and righteousness and gentleness and fearlessness 
and lovableness. He died in 1879, and there survived him his wife and 
ten children. The children are: Miss Mary Louise Erwin, Miss Lizzie 
Matilda Erwin, Mrs. Lawrence S. Holt, Mrs. John Q. Gant, Mrs. Thomas 
P. Moore, Mrs. E. K. Powe, Mr. William Allen Erwin, Mr. James Locke 
Erwin, Mr. Jesse Harper Erwin and Mr. Joseph Ernest Erwin." 

Just as their ancestors fought heroically for American independ- 
ence and for so many generations lived honored and useful lives 
in public and private station, so the sons of Colonel Erwin are 
among the leaders in the industrial development of the State as 
well as inheritors of the personal worth and integrity of character 
that adorned the life of their father. Likewise, of the six daugh- 
ters, two continue to live at Bellevue, four have married North 
Carolina men, who, like the sons of Colonel Erwin, are successful 
manufacturers of cotton and constructive in the State's progress, 
and all, gentle as they are in birth and breeding, keep alive in 
themselves the best traditions of southern womanhood. 

It was in August, 1903, that this family of four sons and six 
daughters met' beside the death-bed of their good and hon(M-ed 
mother, who passed away at the age of seventy-nine. The old 
estate of Bellevue still remains undivided, although it has been 
more than twenty-seven years since Colonel Erwin's death. And 
this fact typifies the abiding influence and good name of this 
excellent man. /. //. Southgate. 


gDWIN WILEY FULLER was born in Louis- 
k burg, Franklin County, N. C, November 30, 
1 1847. His father, Jones Fuller, was the son of 
I Rev, Bartholomew Fuller and Sarah Cooke, a 
S sister of Captain Jones Cooke, His mother was 
j Anna Long Thomas, a daughter of Jordan 
Tlramas and Anna Long, and sister of Dr. William G. Thomas, of 
Wilmington, N. C, His maternal grandmother was a daughter of 
(iabriel Long and Sarah Richmond, and a granddaughter of Wil- 
liam Richmond, who came from England early in the eighteenth 
century with his brother-in-law. Sir Peyton Skipwith. William 
Richmond settled in eastern North Carolina, and married Anne 
>Iilleken, daughter of Colonel James Milleken. Their only daugh- 
ter married Gabriel Long, as above stated, and he was a son of 
Colonel Nicholas Long and Mary Reynolds. Colonel Long was 
the founder of the Long family of Halifax, and his residence, 
"■Qnankee," had more than a state reputation. When General 
Washington visited the Carolinas he and his staff were the guests 
of Colonel Long for several days. 

Mr. Fuller's connections on both sides were among the most 
prominent families in Virginia and North Carolina. 

.At a very early age, while then a student at the Louisburg Male 
Academy, he developed a decided taste for literature. In 1864 
he entered the University of North Carolina and was there until 


April, 1865, when, with three other students, he obtained passes 
through the Federal lines and walked home. While at Chapel 
Hill he became a member of the Delta Psi Fraternity and in 1864 
was chosen its anniversary orator. While a student there he fre- 
quently expressed his thoughts in verse, but nothing written at 
that time has ever been given to the public. His first literary pro- 
duction was "The Village on the Tar" ; this was soon followed by 

In 1867 he entered the University of Virginia, where he con- 
tinued his literary pursuits. A prominent Tennesseean who was 
there at that time writes of him thus : 

"Those young men of east Tennessee, north Georgia, and southwestern 
Virginia who were students of the University of Virginia during the term 
of 1867-68 will readily recall a youth of fragile frame and somewhat 
diminutive stature, who came among us at the opening of the term, whose 
eagle eye attracted the attention, while his gentle, winsome manner soon 
won our hearts. They will remember how soon we bowed before the 
splendid intellect of him who seemed only a boy of tender years, and they 
will readily concede him to have been the leading spirit of the band with 
whom he was almost an idol. His versatility of talents, his modest, retir- 
ing nature, his chivalric sense of honor, his calm, deliberate judgment, his 
high-souled integrity of purpose, his boundless ambition, his devotion as a 
friend, his exalted manhood, all these rise fresh before the minds of all 
who knew him at the University, and even more vividly will they recall 
the pure unsullied character he bore." 

During his college life in Virginia ''The Angel in the Cloud" 
was written and published in the University Magazine. Dr. 
Scheie DeVere, Dr. Gildersleeve and Professor Holmes all ex- 
pressed decided opinions as to the real worth of this poem, and 
it soon gained for the young author an enviable reputation. While 
here, as at Chapel Hill, he gave a whole-hearted service to the 
Delta Psi Fraternity. 

In 1868, after receiving diplomas in the schools of English lit- 
erature and moral philosophy, he returned to his home in Louis- 
burg, N. C. For a while business cares and his father's failing 
health compelled him to lay aside his literary pursuits, but as 
soon as possible after his father's death he resumed his work, and 


in 1871 "The Angel in the Qoud" was published in book form. 
This poem attracted complimentary notices not only from the 
press of his native State, but from the West and North as well. 
The New York Times says : 

"It is a matter of some surprise to meet with a hundred pages of blank 
verse in these days of discouragement for poets, and that surprise is 
changed to utter astonishment at finding any tolerable degree pf merit in 
the lines. Any one, however, who will take the trouble to read this poem 
through will be forced to admit that it has merit, and will find the perusal 
a pleasure rather than the tedious process he had a right to anticipate. 
His subject does not appear an attractive one for poetry, but there is so 
much thought displayed, such ingenious reasoning and skillful handling of 
language that one finishes the book without feeling any of the anticipated 
weariness. The versification is smooth and varied in cadence, and the 
writer's command of language *and of fine illustration is quite remarkable." 

The St. Louis Advocate is responsible for the following : 

"If he (Mr. Fuller) choose to devote himself to song he may take first 
rank among our American poets. We do not remember that the first pro- 
duction of any of them equaled this. It would be easy to point to blemishes 
in Longfellow and Bryant, and there are blemishes in this volume — 
blemishes of crudity, exhibitions of want of experience, but these are noth- 
ing compared with the acuteness of perception, the nobility of thought, and 
the richness of fancy everywhere displayed by Mr. Fuller." 

In September, 1871, he married Mary E. Malone, daughter of 
Dr. Ellis Malone and Martha Hill, and she was a lineal descendant 
of Colonel Nicholas Long. In 1873 Mr. Fuller revised and re- 
wrote **Seagift," a novel written by him when only about eighteen 
years of age. This production was also kindly received. The 
New York World, in its criticism, has this to say : 

"It is not often that a southern novel comes up to us so free from rant 
and cheap sentiment as this one. . . . The author introduces himself with 
a model preface, and so shortly that it may safely be quoted : 'Reader, my 
book is before you. If it has faults, you expect them; therefore, excuse. 
If it has merit, you are surprised; therefore, applaud/ He will be an ex- 
acting reader who does not find more cause for applause than excuse/' 

The two little poems 'The Last Look" and "Out in the Rain" 
were written in 1875, after the death of his only child, Ethel 

3921 5i\ 


Stuart. A second daughter, Edwin Sumner, was born just five 
weeks before his death, which occurred April 22, 1876. 

In recognition of his literary attainments he was invited to de- 
deliver a poem at the reunion of the Delta Psi Fraternity to be 
held in Philadelphia in June, 1876. Having ever felt a loyal devo- 
tion to this order, it caused him bitter regret to refuse this honor, 
but his delicate health forced upon him this necessity. He was 
also invited to write an ode for the Ladies' Memorial Society of 
Wilmington, N. C. This he composed, but his continual physical 
suffering prevented his putting it on paper. Regretting, however, 
to leave a promise unfulfilled, he attempted to dictate this poem 
just a short while before he died, but only three of the stanzas 
were written. 

"Lines written after having a Hemorrhage from the Lungs" 
are considered by many as the most beautiful of all his produc- 
tions. These shorter poems were all published in the third edition 
of his "Angel in the Cloud" in 1878. A fourth edition, with a 
biographical sketch, was published in 1881, and a fifth edition, 
without the biographical sketch, in 1907. A second edition of 
"Sea Gift" appeared in 1883. 

Mr. Fuller's wife survived him eight years, dying in the sum- 
mer of 1884. 

Frederick K, Cooke, 


[I HEN the Huguenots were persecuted in France, 
1 one of the exiles from that country was Jean 
Gaston, bom about 1600, who fled to Scotland. 
His son John f/AS bom in Scotland about 1645, 
I and emigrated to Ireland. William Gaston, son 
_ , of the latter, -was bom in Ireland in 1680, and 
left five sons and four daughters. Nearly all of his children 
came to America. One of his sons (the youngest) was Dr. 
Alexander Gaston, the subject of this sketch, a martyr to the 
cause of liberty in the war of the Revolution. Another son, the 
Rev. Hugh Gaston, was a Presbyterian clergyman and theologi- 
cal writer. From this family also sprang the late Governor Wil- 
liam Gaston, of Massachusetts, who was a namesake as well as 
a cousin of Judge William Gaston, of North Carolina, son of our 
present subject. 

Having decided upon the study of medicine, Alexander Gaston 
entered the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, and there per- 
fected himself in that science. He later was commissioned a sur- 
geon in the Royal navy, and served therein for some time, but 
afterward resigned. Settling in New Bern, N. C, some years 
prior to the Revolution, he there married, in 1775, Margaret 
Sharpe. This lady, though of English birth, had been educated in 
a French convent and was a devout Roman Catholic. Through 
her, in the person of her son, the family of Gaston — whose non- 


conformity to the Church of Rome had caused the expulsion of 
its ancestor from France — gave birth to one of the most illus- 
trious members whose name adorns the annals of that church 
in America. The Gastons in Ireland had held to the Protestant 
faith of their Huguenot ancestors. One of the brothers of Dr. 
Alexander Gaston, as already stated, was a Presbyterian clergy- 
man. Dr. Gaston himself was a member of the Church of 
England, for we find his name signed to a petition, in 1765, ask- 
ing that the academy in New Bern might be encouraged to pro- 
mote the education of the young **and imprint on their tender 
minds the principles of the Christian religion agreeable to the 
establishment of the Church of England." 

Dr. Gaston adhered to the cause of his adopted country from 
the first outbreak of the war for Independence. The Provincial 
Congress of North Carolina, which met at Hillsboro in August, 

1775, elected him (on September 9th) a member of the Commit- 
tee of Safety for the district of New Bern. On December 23, 

1776, he had an additional honor conferred upon him by being 
elected a justice of the court of pleas and quarter sessions for 
the county of Craven. A few months later, on May 9, 1777, he 
was elected a judge of the court of oyer and terminer for the dis- 
trict of New Bern. During all the troublous times that he was 
in the service of his State, Dr. Gaston also found opportunity to 
engage actively in the practice of his profession. He was, it would 
seem, somewhat of an apothecary also ; for in the North Carolina 
Gazette of May 22, 1778, there appears a card from him stating 
that he had just imported a number of drugs and medicines which 
he had for sale. 

Dr. Gaston's services were not altogether of a civil nature dur- 
ing the Revolution. Together with Richard Cogdell, Abner Nash, 
and other prominent patriots, he had been one of the band which 
seized the six pieces of artillery in front of the governor's palace 
in New Bern on June 23, 1775, immediately after the flight of 
Josiah Martin, the last of the royal governors. He was later cap- 
tain of a company of volunteers which operated against the forces 
of Sir Henry Clinton when that officer was in possession of Wil- 


mington. On August 20, 1781, the Tories made an attack on the 
town of New Bern, capturing it after some resistance, and at once 
sought to secure the principal Whigs there residing. Dr. Gaston 
and G>lonel John Green were dining together at the house of the 
former when the alarm was given ; and, obtaining a canoe, they 
endeavored to escape across Trent River and thus elude their 
pursuers, but the Tories reached the river bank before they were 
out of range, and fired upon them with results fatal to Dr. Gaston. 
Green was also badly wounded, it was believed mortally, but after- 
ward recovered. A surgeon of the North Carolina Continentals, 
Dr. Thomas Haslin, who attended the wounded men, expressed 
the opinion that Green's wounds were mortal, but that Gaston 
would recover. An exactly opposite result ensued. 

Though finally driven from the vicinity, the Tories did much 
mischief while in and around New Bern. Among the Whigs who 
then lost their homes by the torch were General William Bryan, 
William Heritage, Longfield Coxe, and William Coxe. These 
gentlemen, it would seem, had a somewhat literal conception of 
the old adage "fighting the devil with fire," for General William 
Caswell, in reporting^ the matter to Governor Burke, on August 27, 
1 781, says: 

"General Bryan, Heritage, and the Coxes have raised a party and burned 
up all the houses of the Tories near them. I am exceedingly sorry for the 
event and dread the consequences; have given them orders to stop, but 
fear I cannot put an end to it." 

Dr. Gaston's widow survived him many years, and died in 
181 1. Speaking of this lady in the North Carolina University 
Magazine of November, i860. Judge Matthias E. Manly (whose 
first wife was her granddaughter) says: 

"After her son's marriage she resided with him, and was to be found at 
all hours with her Bible or her favorite book of devotion, 'The Following 
oi Christ,' by Thomas a Kempis. During the thirty-one years of her 
widowhood she never laid aside the habiliments of mourning, nor, save to 
the sick and poor, did she ever make a visit. A room in her house was 
used as a place of Catholic worship whenever a Catholic priest would visit 
New Bern." 


Mrs. Gaston's life is one of those portrayed in the work entitled 
"Women of the Revolution," by Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet. 

The marriage of Dr. Gaston and Margaret Sharpe was 
blessed by the birth of three children — two boys and a girl. The 
elder son died an infant. The younger was the great statesman 
and jurist, Judge William Gaston, of whom a sketch has been 
given in our second volume. Dr. Gaston's only daughter, Jane, 
became the second wife of Hon. John Louis Taylor, chief justice 
of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, for a sketch of whose 
life see Volume V. of the present work. 

Among the descendants of Dr. Gaston now living, none bear 
his surname. His only son who reached years of maturity was 
Judge William Gaston. Judge Gaston was thrice married. His 
first wife was Susan Hay, who died childless. His second wife, 
Hannah McClure (daughter of Surgeon's Mate William McQure, 
of the Continental army), left an only son, General Alexander F. 
Gaston, and two daughters. The third wife of Judge Gaston, 
Eliza Ann Worthington, left two daughters. 

General Alexander F. Gaston, only son of Judge Gaston, was a 
representative of Hyde County in the State" Constitutional Con- 
vention of 1835, wherein his father so conspicuously figured, but 
later removed to Burke County. He was commissioned a major- 
general of North Carolina militia, on May 27, 1841, and com- 
manded the fifth division of state troops. He was twice married 
and left two sons, both of these being killed in battle. One of 
them. Lieutenant William Gaston, of the United States Army, fell 
in a fight with the Spokane Indians in Washington Territory on 
May 7, 1858; the other. Captain Hugh Gaston, was adjutant of a 
North Carolina regiment in the Confederate army, and was killed 
in the battle now officially designated as Antietam, though the Con- 
federates called it Sharpsburg. Each of these officers fell in his 
first battle, and with their death the surname Gaston became ex- 
tinct among the descendants of Dr. Alexander Gaston, of the 
Revolution, whose life and services have been portrayed in this 
sketch. Marshall De Lancey Haywood. 


^S early as 1767 James Glasgow was a resident 
L of the county of Pitt. In that year his name 
" appears there on the roll of a masonic lodge 
I called "The First Lodge in Pitt County," which 
f had been chartered by the Grand Lodge of 
^ Massachusetts in 1766 or prior thereto. At a 
later date Mr. Glasgow removed to the country of Dobbs, which 
was divided in 1791, a part of it forming Glasgow County (named 
for himself), and in the last named he resided for a time also. 
In 1799 the name of Glasgow County was changed to Greene 
County, and Mr. Glasgow finally removed to Tennessee, where he 
died at an advanced age about the beginning of the year 1820. 

Prior to the Revolution James Glasgow was often thrown into 
contact with the public men of that day through frequent attend- 
ance at sessions of the colonial Assembly, of which body he was 
for some time assistant secretary. When the Revolutionary war 
came on, he sided with the colonies and was sent as a delegate 
to the provincial convention which assembled at Hillsboro in 
August. 1775. On September 9th of that year he was elected a 
member of the Committee of Safety for the district of New Bern. 
In the spring of 1776, another Provincial Congress assembled, and 
that body, on April 22d, elected Mr. Glasgow a major of North 
Carolina militia for the county of Dobbs. In the fall of 1776, 
the Provincial Congress again met at Halifax. Of this Con- 


gress Major Glasgow was elected assistant secretary. On De- 
cember 20, 1776, after the state constitution had been adopted, 
the Halifax Congress passed an ordinance electing state officers; 
and, by virtue of this enactment, Major Glasgow became secre- 
tary of state. Upon the transfer of Colonel Abraham Shepard, of 
the Dobbs regiment of militia, to the colonelcy of the Tenth North 
Carolina Continental regiment, Major Glasgow became a colonel 
in the militia, as his successor. 

For some years after the-war Colonel Glasgow continued in the 
office of secretary of state, and so steadily had his popularity 
grown by 1791 that the General Assembly of that year, by chap- 
ter 47 of its enactments, abolished the county of Dobbs and 
created out of it two new counties, one of which was called Glas- 
gow as a compliment to him. In 1790, when the first official cen- 
sus of the United States was taken, Colonel Glasgow was a resi- 
dent of Glasgow County, and was owner of more slaves (fifty 
in number) than any other resident of the county except Ben- 
jamin Shepard, who owned seventy-one. 

It was in 1797 that suspicion was first aroused concerning the 
official conduct of Colonel Glasgow. Governor Ashe called to- 
gether the council of state, saying : *' An angel has fallen." Before 
the courts of law had convicted him, Glasgow was suspended 
from membership in the Grand Lodge of Masons, and later ex- 
pelled. He was deputy grand master at the time of his suspen- 
sion, and was succeeded by a member of the fraternity who was 
later to become his chief counsel, Judge John Haywood. 

On December 18, 1797, Governor Samuel Ashe sent to the 
house' of commons a special message, in which he said : 

"At the earliest moment I think it necessary to communicate to your 
honorable body the information I have this morning received from the Hon. 
Alexander Martin, Esq., respecting frauds committed upon our office in 
the obtaining of military grants. The information is of such nature, and 
the offense of so great magnitude, in my opinion, as to call for the immedi- 
ate interposition of the legislature. From the continual buzzing of these 
flies about the office, my suspicions have long been awake. I hope the 
honorable house will adopt such measures as will prevent future frauds, 
and bring to condign punishment the perpetrators of past" 


Upon receipt of the above message, the house rquested William 
Hinton, a justice of the peace in Wake County, to ussue a warrant 
for the apprehension of William Tyrrell — or Terrell, as the name 
is sometimes spelled in the records — one of those charged with 
the frauds. It also appointed a committee of its members to 
examine Tyrrell, and otherwise investigate the charges. This 
conunittee consisted of John Skinner, Major Samuel Ashe, Jesse 
Franklin, William H. Hill, Edward Graham, and Jonas Bedford. 
To this committee the upper house added Senators Wallace 
Alexander, James Holland, Henry Hill, John Hill, Joseph T. 
Rhodes, William Person Little, Joseph Riddick and Matthew 
Brooks. The above joint committee made its report on Decem- 
ber 22d, among other things saying: 

''Every hour's progress produces additional instances of the frauds com- 
mitted in the obtaining of military land warrants; forged certificates and 
forged assignments of warrants are the means which have been generally 
nsed to effect the frauds." 

Q)ncerning Colonel Glasgow the report said that the commit- 
tee's investigation left it without doubt that the secretary of state 
had, in many instances, been altogether unmindful of his duty 
and regardless of the positive laws made for his government in 
office — to which negligence were imputable many of the frauds 
committed. The report continues: 

"The committee are therefore of the opinion that the secretary has been 
guilty of misdemeanors in office, but whether sufficient matter can be col- 
lected to support completely articles of impeachment they do not undertake 
to say." 

The Committee further charged that: 

"Stokely Donaldson, Redmond D. Barry, and John Medearis were also 
materially concerned in the same; they also find that Sterling Brewer, 
Allen Brewer, John Conroy. John Mann, William Lytle, Robert Young, and 
Joseph Adams have been concerned in the forgeries and frauds, and appear 
to have been the instruments of the said Tyrrell, Barry, and Donaldson." 

For the arrest of those just named Justice Hinton was also re- 
quested to issue warrants, and to summon Colonel William Polk 


and Captain Gee Bradley as witnesses. Messrs. Basil Gaither, 
Edward Graham, and PVancis Locke were appointed commissioners 
to take charge of the office of the secretary of state; and the joint 
committee of the two houses recommended that the land office 
in Tennessee should be closed, and the papers of Martin Arm- 
strong, the entry-taker, brought to Raleigh. When North Caro- 
lina ceded Tennessee to be set up as an independent State, she re- 
served title in all the unoccupied public lands, and hence claimed 
jurisdiction over the Tennessee Land Office. At the request of 
Governor Ashe, Governor Sevier, of Tennessee, demanded of 
Armstrong his papers, which were readily surrendered to North 
Carolina's agent. Judge Howell Tatom (who was a resident of 
Tennessee) ; but Tatom, under the advice of Governor Sevier, re- 
fused to let these records be taken to North Carolina. With 
grim sarcasm Governor Ashe dwelt upon this refusal, in his mes- 
sage of November 21, 1798, saying to the General Assembly of 
North Carolina: 

"Upon the arrival of your commissioners the scene instantly changed; 
the matter became serious and wore a threatening aspect; the craft ap- 
peared to be in danger: an alarm was given and the bells rang backward; 
opinions and measures were reversed; the agency of the judge, in behalf of 
this State, immediately sank into oblivion, and he assumed a new character 
— he became the guardian, the grand depository, of all the rights and privi- 
leges of the people of Tennessee. The papers, too, changed their appear- 
ance and consequence — so lately the common entries and memorandums of 
Armstrong's office, in a moment they became the solemn records, the 
Domesday Books of the people of Tennessee." 

Negotiations with Tennessee were continued, and Governor 
William Richardson Davie (Ashe's successor) in a message dated 
September 10, 1799, said: 

''Basil Gaither and Samuel D. Purviance, Esquires, two of the c<miiiiis- 
sioners appointed for the purpose of completing the investigations of tiie 
frauds suggested to have been committed in the secretary's office and that 
of the late John Armstrong, met on March 3d and entered on that part of 
the business which related to the transactions in the last-mentioned office; 
and on June 6lh delivered the report to me." 


In a still later official message, also dated September 10, 1799, 
Governor Davie further said, concerning the papers in Tennessee : 

"In pursuance of the resolution of the late General Assembly, I appointed 
General John Willis and Francis Locke, Esquires, agents for the purpose 
of procuring from the governor of the State of Tennessee the books of 
Martin Armstrong's office, lately kept at Nashville. ... It appears that 
Governor Sevier adhered to the resolution of retaining the original books, 
upon which the agents proceeded to make exact copies of them, in the 
manner detailed in their report . . . The copies, which are now lodged 
in the secretary's office, appear to have been taken with great care, are duly 
certified by Martin Armstrong, and respectively sworn to as true copies by 
the agents. The report has stated, in a clear point of view, the various 
frauds committed in this office, and the books exhibit an entire dereliction 
of duty and principle by Martin Armstrong and the persons to whom the 
conduct of the public business in that office was committed/' 

In 1800 North Carolina obtained a judgment for £50,000 
against the bondsmen of General John Armstrong, then de- 
ceased, who had been entry-taker in Tennessee. In June, 1800, 
a court for the trial of criminal cases met in Raleigh for 
the purpose of disposing of various indictments, and before this 
tribunal those convicted were : James Glasgow, John Bonds, and 
Willoughby Williams. Glasgow was acquitted on some counts, 
but fined iiooo each in two counts on which he was con- 
victed. Bonds was fined iioo, and Williams £500. Captain Gee 
Bradley, while at first summoned as a witness, was later indicted ; 
but as little or no evidence could be found against him, the court 
ordered his discharge without a trial. Captain John Medearis was 
discharged in like manner. John Gray Blount and Thomas 
Blount (against whom charges had been brought) were also easily 
acquitted, the jury rendering its verdict without leaving the court 
room. Quite a number of those who had been placed under bond 
forfeited the same by failing to appear, including Selby Harney 
and William Tyrrell. One of these, Tyrrell, probably feared that 
he would also have to stand trial as accessory in a capital felony, 
for one of his slaves had already been hanged — Tyrrell having 
sent said slave, one Phil, to burglarize the secretary's office and 
thereby destroy evidence contained in it. So alarmed were some 


of those under indictment that they even conspired to bum the 
State House at Raleigh as a means of destroying evidence. In 
one of his historical addresses, Governor Swain says concern- 
ing this : 

"It was, I think, in 1797, that a confidential messenger was sent by Judges 
Tatoin and McNairy from Nashville to the governor to warn him of a 
conspiracy to burn the State House, in order to destroy the records, the 
production of which upon the trial was indispensable to the conviction of 
the offenders. A guard was armed and stationed around the Gipttol for 
the next two months. The communication from Nashville requested tiie 
governor immediately on its receipt, to erase from the despatch the name 
of the messenger who bore it, as any discovery of his connection with it 
would lead to assassination. This was done so carefully as to elude every 
effort on my part to restore and ascertain it, thirty years ago, and I have 
not at the present moment the slightest suspicion of the agent who over- 
heard the plot of the conspirators at Knoxville and was sent from Nashville 
to Raleigh on this secret and dangerous mission. The earliest letter from 
General Jackson I ever saw was in relation to this affair. With his in- 
stinctive hatred of fraud, he tendered his service to the governor in any 
effort that might be necessary to arrest the offenders, who were supposed 
to have sought refuge in the then Spanish domains in the direction of 

The judges who presided over the trials in 1800 were John 
Louis Taylor, Samuel Johnston, and Spruce Macay. Another 
judge who was to have been a member of this tribunal was John 
Haywood ; but he resigned from the Bench in May, 1800, to be- 
come counsel for the defense. This court afterward passed out 
of existence, having been created chiefly for the purpose of try- 
ing those charged with land frauds. While sitting it also acted 
as a court of appeals. The present Supreme Court of North 
Carolina did not begin its sittings till 1818, having been created 
in the preceding year. 

Newspaper accounts of the above trials will be found in the 
Raleigh Register of June 17th and 24th, July 29th, and Au- 
gust I2th, 1800; also in the case of State vs, Glasgow, reported 
in the first volume of reprinted North Carolina Supreme Court 
Reports. Messages of the governors and reports of committees, 
in the Journals of the General Assembly, also throw much liglit 


on the matter ; and many voluminous manuscript records, relative 
thereto, are still preserved in the state archives. 

As already noted, Glasgow's name was wiped from the map 
of North Carolina, by changing the name of the county of Glas- 
gow to that of Grreene (as a compliment to General Nathanael 
Greene), this change being wrought by chapter 39 of the laws 
of 1799. 

Though the wrong-doing of others of course does not palliate 
the sins of Colonel Glasgow, it has already been shown that he 
was only one out of a large number involved in the above irregu- 
larities; yet somehow (possibly on account of his prominence) 
history seems to hold him alone responsible for all the wrongs 
done. The whole game had many players ; and the chaotic state 
of the records, both in North Carolina and Tennessee, made it 
an easy game tmtil the courts took a hand. 

After the claims of the law against him had been satisfied by 
the payment of his fines. Colonel Glasgow removed to Tennes- 
see. Of his life there the writer is not informed. One fact, how- 
ever, not generally known, is worthy of note concerning him, and 
that is that the great admiral, who is known to fame as David 
Glasgow Farragut, is shown by an entry in the handwriting of 
his father, Major George Farragut (mentioned in our third vol- 
ume), to have first borne the name James Glasgow Farragut. 
Admiral Farragut was born in 1801 in Tennessee (after Glas- 
jjow's removal to that State), and went by the name of James 
until he reached the age of seven and was living in New Orleans, 
then taking the name David in consequence of having been 
adopted by Captain David Porter (afterward commodore), a 
noted officer of the United States navy. 

Colonel Glasgow lived many years after his removal to Tennes- 
see, and died in that State at an advanced age. The "last scene 
of all that ends this strange, eventful history" is briefly given in 
^he Raleigh Register, of February 25, 1820, as follows: 

**Died: In Tennessee, lately, Colonel James Glasgow, formerly secretary 
<='f >tate of this State." 

Marshall DcLanccy Haywood. 


> yj b A- ■ ^^ 



Orr, perhaps related to those of upper Mecklenburg, moved west 
and reared a family, of which there now remains only one, Mrs, 
Caroline Carleton, of Memphis, Tenn. Charles H. Gray, the sec- 
ond son, moved west at an early age, reared a large and intelligent 
family, and died in 1893, at the age of eighty years. Three chil- 
dren survive him, two sons, Robert W. and Edward, of Proctor, 
Tex., and one daughter, Narcissa, the wife of Mr. Samuel Y. T. 
Knox, of Pine Bluff, Ark. Charles H. Gray married the daughter 
of Nathaniel Alexander, a son of Colonel George Alexander. The 
third son, Nathaniel D. Gray, likewise moved west at an early 
age, and is now living in Mississippi. The foiuth and fifth sons, 
Robert and Baxter, while yet young men, went to the far west 
and were lost to sight of other relatives. 

The eldest son, George Alexander Gray, as before stated, mar- 
ried Mary Wallace and settled in Mallard Creek section, Meck- 
lenburg County. In theyear 1836 he with his wife and two daugh- 
ters moved to Tennessee and there resided until 1841, when they 
returned to North Carolina and settled in Crab Orchard Town- 
ship, Mecklenburg County, which was the home of the family for 
the next twelve years, a family consisting of six daughters and 
two sons, Robert W. and George Alexander, Jr., the youngest, 
the subject of this sketch. 

During 1853 the family moved to Rock Island factory and 
there resided for a number of years. At some time prior to June 
29i 1859, they moved to Stowesville factory, where, on the above- 
mentioned date, the husband and father died suddenly of apo- 
plexy, leaving George Alexander, Jr., a child of eight years. This 
5ad and sudden event imposed upon Mrs. Gray the responsibility 
of a mother's oversight and control of a large family of children, 
several of a tender age. George, the youngest, at once became 
his mother's pet, the common fate of the youngest child. But 
'happily for this boy, as well as for the entire family, the mother 
^ as both a sagacious and an intellectual woman in a high degree, 
^nd hence she was easily adequate to the great responsibilities 
^"hich were now solely hers. 

George was not slow in developing an active mind with a full 


allowance of the live boy inspiration and adventure common to 
promising youth. His strong attachment to, and tender regard 
for, his mother brought him thoroughly under her influence. She 
called him "Pluck" — because of his wonderful self-confidence — 
and never stinted a mother's devotion in her attention to the 
proper pleasing and influencing of her boy. This seems to have 
won him to a marvelous obedience and respect -for the mother's 
every command and wish, which never waned nor abated to the 
day of her death. This trait developed so early in life has been 
one of the most striking characteristics of the man, for it is highly 
worthy of George Gray to relate in this sketch his devotion to 
his sisters from his earliest age of ability and usefulness to the 
present, which, in connection with his fidelity to his mother's 
commands, shows true greatness, worthy of a man whose success 
in industrial life has been so marked. 

In 1 86 1 war opened with all the horrors and privation that 
war can bring, and George was forced by circumstances to go 
into the cotton factory to work in order that he might aid in the 
support of his mother's family. Thus it seemed that his oppor- 
tunity for an education had passed, at least for some years to 
come. But Mrs. Gray was exceedingly anxious that George 
should be put to school, and so, by practicing the most rigid econ- 
omy, arrangements were made for the schooling of the boy. 

Having learned under the firm tutelage of his mother the im- 
mense value of time and opportunity, George entered the school 
with an eager zeal. From day to day and throughout the school 
of ten months he worked incessantly at his books and other school 
tasks, and, to use his own words, *T sought to master the 'Blue- 
back' and my other books entirely within one year, for somehow 
or other I felt that that year's schooling would be my last." True 
to such a fear, that was his last year at school, for now the 
war was on, the factory at Stowesville closed down, and Mrs. 
Gray was forced to move her family to Lineberger's factory. 

At Lineberger's George was put to work in earnest. He was 
given the job of sweep-boy, which carried the pay of ten cents 
day of fourteen hours. That sweep job was the real beginnin|^ 


of his rise in the industrial world. Three considerations now took 
possession of the boy : First, devotion to his mother and sisters ; 
second, self-education; third, the mastery of the knowledge of 
machinery. During his work hours he made it a rule never to 
idle nor loiter, but rather to keep ahead of his work. Such spare 
moments as he had from his regular work he employed in study- 
ing the movements and action of the belt and pulley, wheel and 
cogs, spindle and loom ; in a word, he sought daily to learn more 
of the mechanism and action of machinery, from a traveler to 
a steam engine. Thus it may be said that his education has been 
acquired amid. the wheels of powerful machinery; such books as 
he could get he read with intense interest. Within the mill his 
promotion was rapid and continuous, and it is a fact that he never 
sought a promotion, nor asked an advance in pay. His nine- 
teenth birthday found him assistant superintendent of the Wood- 
lawn Cotton Mills, in which position he was entrusted with the 
superintendence of the mill. Thus by steady strokes and close 
application to his work he steadily forged his way to the top. 

The first opportunity that was afforded him for giving a tan- 
gible evidence of the extent of his textile knowledge was in 1878, 
when he was engaged by Messrs. Gates Bros. & Co., of Charlotte, 
X. C, to equip and put into operation Charlotte's first cotton fac- 
tory, the Charlotte Cotton Mills. He superintended the purchase 
and erection of the machinery, started same in operation and ran 
the mill until 1882. In that year he engaged his services to 
Colonel R. Y. McAden, started the McAden Cotton Mills and 
remained in that position for several years. He has ever been a 
great admirer of Colonel McAden, whom he often refers to as 
one of the ablest men he has ever known. 

Having started in the cotton mill at the lowest round, and hav- 
ing familiarized himself by work and study with every kind of 
textile machinery, he was now resolved on a larger career. 
Hence in 1888 he moved to Gastonia, and together with the late 
Captain R. C. G. Love and the late Captain J. D. Moore organ- 
ized and put into operation the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing 
Company, the first cotton mill in Gastonia, then a small village of 


barely three hundred people. This was the beginning of what 
is now one of the most progressive and prosperous towns in 
North Carolina. The successful operation of this mill led the 
way to the organization of a second ; for in 1893 George A. Gray, 
together with George W. Ragan and the late T. C. Pegram, or- 
ganized and erected the Trenton Cotton Mills. The growth of 
the town was now both rapid and continuous, and in 1896 he, 
together with John F. Love, organized and erected the Avon 
Mills, capitalized at $200,000, designed to spin fine yam and to 
weave a fine grade of sheeting. From the start the mill enjoyed 
great prosperity. George A. Gray remained president of this 
mill until 1905, when he sold his holdings and organized the Gray 
Manufacturing Company. In 1899 the Ozark Mill was organ- 
ized with a capital of $200,000, George A. Gray president, J. F. 
Love vice-president, and R. P. Rankin secretary and treasurer. 
At the head of this mill he remained for a number of years. In 
1900 there was organized and erected what continues to be the 
largest cotton factory, under one roof, in the State, the Loray 
Mills, capitalized at $1,500,000. The leading spirits in this organ- 
ization were George A. Gray, who was made president, and John 
F. Love treasurer. The next mill built in Gastonia was the Gray 
Manufacturing Company, of which George A. Gray is president 
and treasurer and the principal stockholder. During the past 
year he has been closely identified with the organization and erec- 
tion of three more cotton factories, the Clara Manufacturing 
Company, the Holland Manufacturing Company and the Flint 
Manufacturing Company. Of the first named he is a director 
and vice-president, and of the last two he occupies the office of 

Thus it will be seen that the subject of this sketch has been 
prominently connected with the organization of nine of the eleven 
cotton mills of Gastonia. For a number of years he was the 
president and the manager of four of the mills, the Gastonia, the 
Avon, the Ozark and the Loray. At present he is the president 
of the Gray, the Holland and the Flint. The cotton factories of 
the town have made Gastonia famous; it now has a population 


of eig^t thousand, is still growing at a rapid rate, and the early 
prospects for a large city are bright. 

In addition to his Gastonia enterprises, Mr. Gray has been 
much sought after in other towns and states. During the past 
five years he has assisted in the organization and erection of mills 
in South Carolina and Georgia, principal among which have been 
the Wylie Mills of Chester, S. C., the Scottdale of Atlanta, and 
the Mandeville of Carrollton, Ga. 

His chief interests have been confined to cotton factories, 
though he is identified with many other interests, being a director 
of the First National Bank, and president of the Gaston Metal 
and Roofing Company, and a director of the Carolina and North- 
western Railroad. 

Notwithstanding the fact that Mr. Gray has been a very busy 
man for all these years, he has nevertheless found time to devote 
himself to the interests of the city government. For six years 
he was a member of the board of aldermen, and during these 
years he served as city treasurer. It was during his term of ser- 
vice that Gastonia took her first great leap forward, floated an 
issue of $105,000 in bonds, with which were established graded 
schools and also electric lights, sewerage and water works, which 
utilities are the property of the town and are operated in the in- 
terest of her citizens. 

In faith Mr. Gray is a Methodist, and he is of the staunch and 

aggressive type. Never doing things by halves, since he reached 

Gastonia he has been a moving spirit in all matters of loyalty, 

devotion and financial support. He has ever been a most liberal 

contributor to all the enterprises of his church. In 1900 a new 

and commodious church building was deemed a necessity, and so 

he, by reason of a large contribution, made possible the erection 

of a very handsome structure. 

As before stated, Mr. Gray began his industrial career at the 
age of ten years, when he entered the mill at the meager wages 
of ten cents per day, the working day at that time about fourteen 
^urs. At some time during his nineteenth year he was acting 
superintendent at the wage of fifty cents per day — rather fair 


pay for that day, but very low now, even for a child; but he 
never became discouraged. He was all the while laying sure 
the foundation for the successful career he confidently expected 
to achieve. 

By far the most interesting chapter in the life of Mr. Gray 
has to do with his struggles in connection with the enlargement of 
his first mill, the Gastonia Cotton Manufacturing Company. The 
mill had been erected, the original outlay of machinery had been 
installed, and the plant had been put into successful operation. 
The success of the mill led to a determination to enlarge ; the plan 
had been proposed by Mr. Gray and had been heartily accepted 
by the other stockholders. But no sooner were the plans matured 
and the machinery ordered than three of the largest stockholders 
suddenly decided to place their stock upon the market, so that 
George A. Gray and the late R. C. G. Love were forced to buy 
or sell. As for Mr. Love, he could arrange for his part, but Mr. 
Gray, already heavily involved in debt by reason of liis heavy 
subscription to the new issue of stock, was now brought face to 
face with the greatest problem of his life. Now was the crisis 
on, now was his future at stake ; either he must sell and acknowl- 
edge defeat absolute, or he must raise, and that, too, immediately, 
$20,000. Those on the inside watched to see the bubble burst. 
Just twenty and four hours put him in touch with a friend — ^a 
mere acquaintance, in fact — before whom the few plain, simple 
facts were laid, and in less time than it takes to write the 
funds were in hand, the deal was made and the day was saved. 
As to this transaction, no questions were ever asked, no informa- 
tion was ever given. These plain, cold facts have been given for 
but one reason, viz., to show the crisis and how it was met. That 
this incident both saved the day and made the man Mr. Gray has 
not the slightest doubt. 

From that day till now he has cut the word "defeat" from his 
vocabulary. In all matters of forward movements, whether in^ 
the realm of business, church or state, he decides upon the thin 
to be done and then sets to the doing. His rise in the industria 
world has been almost phenomenal, for in ten years he rose fro 


the managing spirit of one mill, employing 200 operatives, to the 
presidency of five factories, in whose employ were 2000 people. 

There arc three schools in which he has been an ardent, eager 
student: the school of man, the school of machinery, and the 
school of books, and in all of these he has become proficient. 
Among books, his fondness lies in history, biography, literature — 
chiefly poetry — ^and his favorite poets are Shakespeare, Bums and 
Moore, and he might be said to know Burns by heart. 

His fixed habits have been the chief features of his character. 
From his childhood till now he has risen every morning at five 
o'clock, and at six he is at his work, regardless of season or 
weather. As to tobacco or intoxicants, he is a total abstainer; 
and, though tolerant with respect to the views and likes of others, 
he has no time for games of any sort. In forming judgment, he 
is invariably quick. In matter of speech, he is quick and to the 
point, making use of the fewest words possible. Though of a 
nervous temperament, he easily sees all points of wit, and no one 
enjoys a hearty laugh more thoroughly than he. He reads his 
daily newspapers and magazines, and keenly keeps abreast with 
the news, thought and life of the times. 

His wife was Jennie C, the daughter of Jerry R. Withers, of 
Gaston County, and to their union have been born ten children, 
eight of whom survive, five girls and three boys. He is a man 
exceedingly fond of his home, and no business exaction does he 
allow to encroach upon the pleasures of his home life. 

S. A. Ashe. 


pHETHER laboring as a. surgeon to alleviate 
/ suffering in the American army during the war 
) of the Revolution, or striving as a good soldier 
S of Jesus Christ to advance the cause of religion 
% after taking holy orders, Solomon Hailing so 
S lived as to leave this world better for his having 
5welt therein. Of the life of Dr. Hailing prior to the time of his 
settlement in North Carolina, we have little information. He 
was of Danish descent, and probably a Dane by birth, thoi^h 
some accounts say that he was a native of Pennsylvania. To 
judge from his kinsman's letter, written from the Royal Library 
at Copenhagen, and herein after quoted, the Hailing family wa& 
one of high standing in Denmark. 

Dr. Halling's services in the American Revolution were re- — 
warded some years after the return of peace by grants of lan^=^ 
in Ohio. A certificate dated March 14, 1896, from the Commi^^- 
sioner of Pensions says : 

"From the records on tile in this Bureau it appears that on June 2, 18^^ J. 
a land warrant for 450 acres was issued by the General GovemnKnt to 
Solomon Hailing, in satisfaction of his services as senior surgeon in t-Xtc 
general hospitals in the Middle and Southern Departments during C9( 
Rfvolulionary war." 

Dr. Hailing not only rendered hospital service as above, l>u( 
was also a surgeon in the regular army or the North Carolir 


Continental Line, and remained on duty as such till the close of 
hostilitses. (''State records of North Carolina," vol. xxii, p. 1049.) 
As early as 1789, if not before that time, Dr. Hailing was 
engaged in the practice of medicine at New Bern. Soon, how- 
ever, he determined to abandon that profession and enter the 
sacred ministry. To the latter step he was probably impelled by 
the deplorable condition in which the then recent war had left the 
Church of England, he being a devout member of that communion. 
Though many of America's greatest Revolutionary patriots — 
including the commander-in-chief of her armies — ^had been adher- 
ents of the Church of England prior to the war, and still held to 
that faith, there was almost as much prejudice against the English 
church as there was* against the English nation when hostilities 
ceased ; and this, too, despite the fact that among the clergy who 
labored to gather together the scattered congregations in North 
Carolina after the war were men not only of acknowledged purity 
of life, but several Revolutionary veterans of proved patriotism. 
There was Adam Boyd, who fought through part of the war as 
a line officer, then entered the ministry and rose to the rank of 
brigade-chaplain; Robert Johnston Miller, another of these 
clergymen, had carried a musket in Washington's army before 
taking holy orders; our present subject, Solomon Hailing, had 
filled an important and useful station in the military hospitals, 
as already mentioned ; and there were doubtless others. So far 
as the present writer can learn, no clergyman of the Church of 
England in North Carolina ever took an active part against the 
colonies, and only one — old Parson Micklejohn — ^was a professed 
lo^'alist, and he soon disavowed his allegiance to King George and 
became a citizen of the independent State. As for the laity, space 
will not permit even a partial list of the numberless Revolutionary 
I>atriots in North Carolina who were adherents of the Church of 
England both before and after the war. 

It was not long after his arrival in New Bern that Dr. Hailing 
gave up the practive of medicine and became principal of the 
Academy in that town, all the while pursuing his theological 
studies preparatory to entering the ministry. In 1792, he was 


ordained by the Right Rev. James Madison, bishop of Virginia, 
and soon thereafter he entered upon his duties as rector of Christ 
Church at New Bern. 

In June, 1790, two years prior to the ordination of Dr. Hailing, 
an effort was made at Tarborough to reorganize the church in 
North Carolina, but only two clergymen and two lay delegates 
appeared. This handful went to work in a business-like way 
and drew up an address to the General Convention of the church, 
saying in part: **The state of our church in this commonwealth 
is truly deplorable from the paucity of its clergy and the multi- 
plicity of opposing sectarians who are using every possible exer- 
tion to seduce its members to their different communions." In 
November, 1790, another effort was made at organization, with 
scarcely greater success, and the several delegates adjourned to 
meet in October, 1791, but there is no record that this latter prop- 
osition was carried out. On November 21, 1793, there was held 
in Tarborough a third meeting, with an attendance of six delegates 
— three of the clergy and three of the laity. One of the clerical 
delegates in this body was Dr. Hailing, he having been ordained 
in the previous year. The matter of electing a bishop was brought 
up in this meeting, but this action was not taken. Alluding to 
this question. Dr. Hailing wrote : 'The smallness of our number 
would have subjected him to reproach, and our church also." 
However, at the next meeting in Tarborough, May 28-31, 1794, 
the election of a bishop was no longer delayed, and the Rev. 
Charles Pettigrew was chosen for that high office; but, owing^l 
to a variety of circumstances, he never presented himself for con — 
secration. The certificate of the Rev. Mr. Pettigrew's elections 
was signed by Dr. Hailing, together with four other clergymenar: 
and eight lay delegates. Dr. Hailing was also one of the com — 
mittee (composed of six of the clergy and nine laymen) whidr-: 
drew up a constitution for the government of the church in Norths 

The meeting at Tarborough ended the earlier efforts to reor -" 
ganize the church in North Carolina. Of course it must be bom*- 
in mind that a far greater number of individual church member 


could have been gotten together than those enumerated above — 
the few present being duly accredited delegates representing the 
several parishes throughout the State. Of the Tarborough meet- 
ings Bishop Cheshire remarks: "They did not represent the 
birth of new energies, and the adaptation of the church to her 
new surroundings ; they were only the death struggle of the old 
ookmial system/' 

In all these efforts to reorganize the church in North Carolina, 
Dr. Hailing took an active and leading part, laboring in season 
and out of season. Alluding to printed calls for reorganization he 
sa3rs : "I have preached and read these to one congregation . . . 
and purpose to do the same in every part of the country where 
I can collect the people together/' 

Alluding to the above early efforts for the revival of the church 
in North Carolina, which met with failure. Bishop Cheshire says : 
"Dr. Hailing was a most exemplary man, and the most zealous 
clergyman of his time in the State. It was by his earnest assiduity 
that the convention of 1794 was gotten together. If the other 
ministers had had his enterprising and courageous spirit we should 
have had another tale here to-day." 

In a letter to Dr. Hailing, Bishop-elect Pettigrew wrote : "Your 
zeal for the declining interests of religion I wish rather to emulate 
than praise." 

While Dr. Railing's efforts to have North Carolina erected 
into a diocese did not meet with success during his lifetime, he 
was not denied success in the work of his own parish at New 
Bern, or in his later charge at Wilmington. It was in 1795 that 
he resigned his post as rector of Christ Church at New Bern, and 
accepted a call from the vestry of Saint James' Church in Wil- 
mington. * 

A brief history of Saint James' Church at Wilmington was 
published anonymously in 1874 by Colonel James G. Burr, who 
stated in his preface that the work was based upon previous his- 
torical notes by the Rev. Robert Brent Drane, D. D., former rector 
of the parish, who fell a victim to the yellow fever epidemic in 
Wilmington in 1862. Of Dr. Hailing this pamphlet says: 


"In 1795, twenty years from the time when the last clergyman under 
the colonial government left, the vestry having reorganized and repaired 
the church so far as to render it fit for public worship, called to the rector- 
ship, the Rev. Dr. Hailing, who for sometime previous had officiated in the 
church at New Bern. . . . Dr. Hailing accepted the appointment of rector 
of the parish, and in this relation he continued until May, 1809, when he 
resigned his charge and removed to Georgetown, S. C, where, a few years 
after, he closed his earthly ministry with his life, much regretted and much 
beloved by all who knew him. Besides having charge of the parish. Dr. 
Hailing was the first principal of the Wilmington Academy — an institution 
of learning which owed its existence to Colonel James Innes, previously 
mentioned — an enterprise which was carried to a successful completion by 
the voluntary subscriptions of the citizens of Wilmington." 

It would seem that at one time Dr. Hailing contemplated pub- 
lishing a history of his family in Denmark, for, on September 18, 
1809. Johannes Due Hailing, librarian of the Royal Library at 
Copenhagen, wrote him a letter, of which the following is a trans- 
lation : 

"Your very great labor in search of the last remains of the Hailing 
family deserves the greatest appreciation of such as may be so happy as 
to belong to the same. How very happy would I be if I could have the 
honor to meet you in person, as I then could perfectly show my gratitude 
and that regard which your labor deserves. . . . After a long and tedious 
search I discover that not one of our relations now exist in this Kingdom.'* 

It is doubtful whether Dr. Hailing ever published the result 
of his researches, as no work by him now appears in the cata- 
logues of the several large American libraries which the present 
writer has examined. Dr. Hailing also contemplated the publica- 
tion of a work of some sort as late as the end of 1809, after his 
removal to South Carolina, for, on December nth in that year, he 
writes: "Dr. Rush has advised me to print immediately, and 
not wait for subscribers. I believe I have sufficient to pay the 
expenses of the first book already." The only printed production 
by Dr. Hailing which the writer of this sketch has ever seen is 
contained in a masonic work entitled, "Ahiman Rezon," and pub- 
lished at New Bern in 1805. In that work (part ii, p. 62) is an 
oration delivered by him before Saint John's Lodge, No. 3, at 


New Bern, on the Feast of Saint John the Evangelist, December 
27, 1789. This was before Dr. Hailing had taken holy orders. 

Dr. Hailing was a zealous and valued member of the masonic 
fraternity, first belonging to Saint John's Lodge, No. 3, at New 
Bern. He was also high priest of Concord Chapter, No. i, Royal 
Arch Masons, at Wilmington. He was present in Saint John's 
Lodge, at Wilmington, on June 6, 1804, and proposed plan for 
laying the "angle-stone" (corner-stone) of the new masonic hall 
on the 1 2th of the same month. This building was made of 
brick and stood on Orange Street between Front and Second 
streets. At the time of its erection it was the finest masonic 
edifice in North Carolina, and one of the finest in the South. 

The senior surgeon in the hospitals of the Middle and Southern 
Departments, a practicing physician, a minister of the gospel, and 
a teacher of youth, it is evident that Dr. Hailing was a man of 
learning in many departments, and being a gentleman of high 
character and social standing and an active citizen, zealous in good 
works, he must have left a beneficial impress both at New Bern 
and Wilmington. The influence that such men exert, while not blaz- 
oned by remarkable achievements, lifts communities to a higher 
level and brings light and sweetness into the homes of the people. 

It is quite evident that Dr. Hailing did not believe in the celi- 
bacy of the clergy, for he was three times married. His first 
wife died on September 18, 1793, after his removal to New Bern, 
for the North Carolina Gazette, on September 21st of that year, 
contains this notice : 

**Died. On Wednesday last, Mrs. Elizabeth Hailing, the lady of the 
Rev. Dr. S. Hailing. This amiable woman having for some years lingered 
under a variety of bodily afflictions, with an applauding conscience, calmly 
resigned her soul into the hands of God who gave it; and with a truly 
religious submission departed this life, deeply and deservedly lamented and 
regretted by all her relatives and friends, to whom while living she was 
endeared by many virtues." 

The paper from which the above is quoted contained a more 
cheerful notice on Saturday, February 8, 1794, less than five 
months later : 


"Married. On Thursday last, the Rev. Dr. Solomon Hailing to Mrs. 
Eunice Kelly." 

The third and last wife of Dr. Hailing was Mrs. Sarah Jones, 
widow of Frederick Jones, Jr. Her maiden name was Moore, 
she being the daughter of George Moore and his wife, Mary Ashe. 

By his first wife, Dr. Hailing had two daughters: Francinia 
Greenway Hailing, who was the second wife of James Usher; 
and Ann Dorothea Hailing, who married Roger Moore. Mrs. 
Usher left a son, Hailing, and a daughter, Francinia, both of 
whom died unmarried, and also a daughter, Eliza Ann Usher, 
who married William Augustus Berry, a surgeon in the United 
States army. Mrs. Moore (whose husband was maternally a 
nephew of Dr. Halling's third wife) left three sons and a daugh- 
ter, one of her sons being the late Lieutenant-Colonel Roger 
Moore, of the Forty-first North Carolina regiment (Third cav- 
alry) in the Confederate army. 

To William Berry McKoy, Esquire, now a member of the Wil- 
mington Bar, who is a grandson of the above Mrs. William A. 
Berry, and hence a descendant of Dr. Hailing, the present writer 
is indebted for many of the facts on which this sketch is based ; 
while other information is drawn from the "Church History of 
North Carolina" compiled by Bishop Cheshire. 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood, 

T:'E N2V.' YORK 





The termination of active operations found Major Hill indis- 
posed to the dull routine of the peace establishment — ^all the more 
that he was soon to be married to Miss Isabella Morrison, of 
North Carolina. Accordingly, he resigned his commission and 
in the year 1849 became professor of mathematics in Washington 
College, at Lexington, Va. There he had the sympathetic and 
congenial association of his brave comrade. Major T. J. Jackson, 
professor of natural philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute. 

They had much in common — the same dauntless courage, the 
same high and ardent military aspiration, the same religious faith 
and devotion, and their record in Mexico had in point of distinc- 
tion been exactly similar. Now they were bound by stronger ties, 
Jackson having married the sister of Major Hill's wife. 

As a teacher. Major Hill was conscientious and successful. He 
came to have great control over the young men in his charge, who 
soon learned that beneath his quiet manner and consideration for 
every student, lay unbending resolution. He manifested his enthu- 
siasm for mathematics by the preparation of an algebra which 
met with much favor as a school manual. After five years of 
service at Lexington, he filled the same chair at Davidson College, 
N. C, with equal success, and then became superintendent of the 
North Carolina Military Institute at Charlotte. During this 
period. Major Hill became well known in North Carolina. His 
ability as a man and as a teacher, his ready and graceful pen, his 
high conceptions of social and civic duties impressed the thought- 
ful men of the State. The religious and social atmosphere of the 
communities with which he was associated was pervaded by the 
virtues of the simple life, and these were entirely congenial with 
his own deep feelings. Indeed his sentiments found expression 
in two religious books then published by him, "A Consideration 
of the Sermon on the Mount" (1858) and the "Crucifixion of 
Christ" (i860). 

His intercourse with Jackson was marked by warm regard and 
perfect confidence, and from the beginning of the war of seces- 
sion, Hill predicted for Jackson a great career, while Jackson him- 
self felt a like assurance of Hill's high qualification as a soldier. 


On the threat of hostilities, Major Hill was at once invited to 
take charge of the camp of instruction at Raleigh, and on the 
organization of the First North Carolina regiment, he was ap- 
pointed colonel, and ordered to move it to Virginia. He was 
stationed in front of Yorktown, the Federals at that time occupy- 
ing Hampton and Fortress Monroe. On June 6th, Colonel 
Hill, under orders from Colonel Magruder, proceeded with the 
First North Carolina regiment and a Virginia battery with four 
pieces of artillery under Major Randolph to Big Bethel Church, 
near Hampton. There he threw up some light entrenchments, 
and learning that a detachment of Federals was in the vicinity, 
directed Lieutenant-Colonel Lee to drive them back, while Major 
Lane was sent to drive off another marauding party. This display 
of activity led General Butler, in command of the Federal army, 
to organize a force of forty-four hundred to drive Hill away from 
his vicinity. At nine o'clock on June loth, this Federal force 
reached the immediate vicinity of Bethel, and the battle 
began. It was the first battle of the war. In anticipation of the 
conflict, Colonel Magruder had himself joined Hill, but did not 
interfere with Hill's plans or movements. The Confederates were 
brilliantly successful. The loss of the Federals as reported by 
General Butler was eighteen killed, fifty-three wounded, and five 
missing. On the Confederate side, the First North Carolina lost 
one man killed, Henry Lawson Wyatt, and six wounded ; the 
Randolph's Howitzers had three wounded. The Federals retired 
foiled and defeated. This first battle of the war raised the enthu- 
siasm of the South to the highest pitch, and brought great credit 
to the soldiers engaged, and won great fame for Colonel Hill. 
The North Carolina convention authorized the First regiment to 
inscribe the word '^Bethel" upon their banner, and with one 
acclaim it was declared that the Bethel regiment and Colonel Hill 
had "covered themselves with glory/' Governor Ellis recom- 
mended to the convention that Colonel Hill should be promoted 
to the rank of brigadier and that a full brigade be formed and 
placed under his command. When the North Carolina troops 
were turned over to the Confederate Government on August 



loth, Colonel Hill was the first officer of the State to be 
appointed a brigadier-general. For a short period he was assigned 
to the important duty of commanding the defenses of the North 
Carolina coast ; but on November i6th he was ordered to report to 
General Johnston, and a fortnight later was given command of the 
left wing of Johnston's army with headquarters at Leesburg. On 
March 26, 1862, he received his commission as major-general; 
and in command at Yorktown, his activity in reconnoissance, his 
vigilance and obstinacy in resisting the Federal advance, and his 
absolute fearlessness, soon won the confidence of the entire army. 
At Williamsburg, personally leading his first line and attacking 
with the utmost vigor, he was conspicuous for his gallantry, and 
gave McClellan a staggering and sanguinary check. Johnston's 
confidence in him was unbounded ; and Longstreet reported : 
"Major-General D. H. Hill, a hero of many battle-fields, was con- 
spicuous for ability and courage in planning the left attack." 

Now was opening the greatest conflict of arms of modem 
times, and the promise of a great career, which Hill's fine conduct 
in Mexico and in the preliminary engagements gave, was to be 
fulfilled on many hard-fought battlefields. At Seven Pines, after 
a great rainfall on the night of the 30th, rendering the roads and 
fields almost impassable. Hill dashed forward with his division, 
knee-deep in mud, in one of the most brilliant attacks of the war, 
storming a formidable redoubt, forcing his way through the 
abatis, expelling Casey's division, and turning the captured guns 
on the broken enemy. In the seven days battles, under Stonewall 
Jackson at Gaines' Mills, after a long day of obstinate conflict, 
he turned and broke the enemy's principal line. As General Lee 
said, "After a sanguinary struggle he captured several of the 
enemy's batteries and drove them in confusion toward the Chicka- 
hominy until darkness rendered further pursuit impossible." At 
Malvern Hill he equally distinguished himself, breaking and driv- 
ing back the enemy's first line ; but not being supported, he was 
compelled to abandon a part of the, ground he had gained, after 
suffering severe loss and inflicting heavy damage upon the enemy. 

When Lee retired from Frederick, Md., Hill commanded the 


rear guard, and on Sq)tember 14th saved the communica- 
tions of the army and secured its concentration, after Jackson's 
capture of Harper's Ferry, by an obstinate defense of Boonsboro 
Gap, one of the most famous engagements of the war. For five 
hours, with a single division, he held the pass against a vastly 
superior force of tiit Federal army. 

It may be proper to mention the loss of a copy of General 
Lee's order for the movement of his forces, addressed to General 
Hill, and found by a Federal soldier. There is not the slightest 
direct evidence connecting General Hill or any one at his head- 
quarters with the loss of this paper. General Hill later declared 
that he. still had in his possession the only copy of this order 
which he had ever received. His adjutant-general, Major J. W. 
Ratchford, also made an affidavit that no copy of the order sent by 
General Lee was ever received at General Hill's headquarters. 

At Sharpsburg General Hill greatly distinguished himself, 
having three horses shot under him. Of his record in that san- 
guinary battle General Longstreet says: "Generals D. H. Hill 
and Hood were like gamecocks, fighting as long as they could 
stand, engaging again as soon as strong enough to rise." In Feb- 
ruary, 1863, he was assigned to the command of the defenses of 
North Carolina, where his activity kept the enemy in constant 
alarm and prevented either any incursions by them or their send- 
ing any detachments to other fields. When Lee made his grand 
march to Gettysburg, Hill was left to hold in check the Federal 
column threatening Richmond from York River. 

On July 13, 1863, he was appointed a lieutenant-general, and 
as such commanded a corps in Bragg's army at Chattanooga. In 
that battle Hill attacked the enemy's left vigorously, produc- 
ing a great and controlling effect on the minds of the Federal 
general-in-chief and his subordinates. The alarm which his attack 
engendered led to such a hurried transfer of troops from the 
Federal right to the left as vitally to sway the issue of the battle. 
Longstreet profited by this disorder and was able to double up 
the Federal right and drive Rosecrans from the field. The spoils 
of the victorious Confederates were fifty-one pieces of artillery 


and fifteen thousand muskets, while five thousand prisoners were 
taken. For weeks after this great triumph Bragg remained in- 
active; and his generals began to feel distrust of his efficiency, 
and united in a temperate statement of the facts, and a recom- 
mendation to President Davis that another general-in-chief should 
be appointed. This incident unhappily led to General Hill's 
removal from the western army and his enforced inactivity. 

After the disastrous battle of Missionary Ridge, Mr. Davis 
realized that he ought not to retain Bragg at the head of the 
Army of Tennessee; and in his "Rise and Fall of the Confed- 
erate Government" he made repeated references to General D. 
H. Hill in praise of his ability, zeal and courage, and not one 
disparaging allusion. 

General Hill, always eager for active service, was persistent 
in his application for investigation and redress, but without avail. 
General Beauregard applied for his assignment to important 
duty at Charleston ; but Hill insisted that it should be accompanied 
by some expression of confidence that would relieve him from 
the slur put upon him by Bragg*s order relieving him from duty. 
A letter of general condemnation written by General Cooper did 
not satisfy General Hill's desire for reparation. The result was 
that for many months in 1864 he served as volunteer aide-de-camp 
with General Beauregard. In this capacity he rendered most 
gallant service at the battle of Drewry's Bluflf, and subsequently 
in maintaining the lines at Petersburg. 

At length, after Sherman's march to Savannah, unselfishly 
waiving his claims for redress, he accepted the command of the 
district of Georgia with headquarters at Augusta. His spirit is 
illustrated in his letter to Hardee of January 23, 1865: **If I 
can muster but twenty men, I expect to make fight." He was 
given command of the fragmentary remains of the Army of 
Tennessee, and with these shattered organizations he made such 
obstacle as was possible to Sherman's march to Columbia. 

At Bentonville, Johnston County, N. C, on March 19, 1865, 
one of the last actions of the war east of the Mississippi occurred. 
As Hill had struck the first blow at Bethel, so now he participated 


with vigor and splendid resolution in this final contest. He 
successfully attacked the Fourteenth corps of Sherman's army, 
and drove the enemy from their temporary field works until 
they met the support of the Twentieth corps. It was the last 
effort of the remnant of the glorious Army of Tennessee, heroes 
of Shiloh, of Chickamauga and of Kenesaw. It is pathetic to 
read in Hill's report that '*our men fought with great enthusiasm 
in this engagement." 

In the years succeeding the war, General Hill devoted himself 
with patriotic zeal to the moral and intellectual upbuilding of the 
stricken South. His first labors were bestowed upon The Land 
IVe Love, a magazine which he published at Charlotte, N. C, 
and which commanded the respect and good will of the people 
of the South; but circumstances were not propitious for the 
financial success of such a literary enterprise at the South. It 
merited a success that no literary magazine at the South has yet 

In 1877, General Hill returned to his old service in the cause 
of education, and became the efficient and beloved head of the 
University of Arkansas, remaining there until 1884. In 1885, he 
was called to preside over the Georgia Military and Agricultural 
College, where in the faithful discharge of his duties he passed 
the last years of his noble life. 

In stature, General Hill was about the average height, and of 
rather slight figure. His health was never robust, and only his 
inflexible will, simple habits and his strict abstinence from stim- 
ulating drinks could have carried him through the labors of his 
campaign. His manner was reserved and did not lightly invite 
to intimacy. Among friends he was a charming and original 
talker, and in his home circle no man was ever more gentle or 
more affectionate. His most striking characteristics were his 
intense religious faith, his unflinching sense of duty, his dauntless 
courage. With these were associated perfect purity of life, un- 
yielding steadfastness of purpose, and a vigorous mind. It is to 
be remarked, however, that along with a fund of genial humor 
he had a sarcastic vein which sometimes was manifested both in 


his speech and in his letters, one of his sayings becoming notable : 
"You will never find a dead cavalryman with his spurs on" — ^per- 
haps indicating the diflference in obstinacy on the field between 
the cavalry and infantry. Some of his utterances created a 
certain dislike in some quarters, and this trait accounts for the 
unfriendliness with which one writer at least on the Federal side 
has treated him. 

General Hill married Isabella Morrison, the oldest daughter of 
Dr. Robert Hall Morrison, and granddaughter of General Joseph 
Graham of the Revolution. He left five living children: Mrs. 
Thomas J. Arnold, of West Virginia ; Dr. Randolph W. Hill, of 
Los Angeles, Gal.; Miss Nannie L. Hill, of Deland, Fla. ; Pro- 
fessor D. H. Hill, of Raleigh, N. C., and Chief Justice Joseph M. 
Hill, of Little Rock, Ark. 

In his personal life, which the world did not see, there was 
sweetness, light and beauty, and the real tenderness of his nature 
has left an unfailing memory in his family circle. Indeed it may 
be said of him that no purer citizen, no more unselfish patriot, no 
braver soldier ever trod the path of duty. S. A. Ashe. 



of the college, and while he has been forceful in maintaining dis- 
cipline he enjoys in a marked degree the confidence and respect of 
the student body as well as of his associates in the faculty. Coming 
to the college when it was still in its infancy he has contributed 
largely to its growth and has exerted an important influence upon 
Its constant development into the great institution which it has 
become. In 1905, the board of trustees elected him vice-president 
of the college. 

His accomplishments and mental equipment united with his 
admirable personal qualities have brought him into prominence 
as an educator, and his labors in the cause of education have not 
been limited to the college of whose faculty he is a member. 

Industrious, energetic and always occupied in some matter of 
literary interest, Professor Hill has done much work in the field 
of letters. He is the author of the admirable narrative of "North 
Carolina in the Civil War," it being one of the volumes of the 
series entitled .*' Con federate Military History," twelve volumes, 
published in Atlanta in 1899, under the direction of the United 
Veterans' Association of the Confederate States. In this work Pro- 
fessor Hill has brought out clearly the great deeds done by North 
Carolinians during the war, and it is a monument to his industry, 
intelligence and patriotism no less than to the heroic soldiers 
whose fame he has perpetuated. In connection with his associates. 
Professors C. W. Burkett and F. L. Stevens, he has also written 
a text-book entitled "Agriculture for Beginners," a work of high 
merit, published by Ginn & Co., of Boston, in 1903. With the 
same colaborers he prepared the "Hill Readers," a series of five 
books for the public schools. He is also the author of "Young 
People's History of North Carolina," a book adopted by the state 
board of education for the schools of this State. 

Professor Hill has been an active member of the Southern 
Educational Association and the North Carolina Teachers* 
Assembly, and he has prepared papers of unusual interest which 
were read before those bodies. Being imbued with an earnest 
desire to rescue from oblivion the facts connected with the 
history of this State and being desirous of promoting literary 


culture among our people, he was active in forming the North 
Carolina Literary and Historical Association, and he has served 
with diligence as a member and as chairman of its executive com- 
mittee. On account of his familiarity with literature and his well- 
known interest in the advancement of the welfare of the State, 
he was appointed a member of the advisory board to assist the 
state librarian in the selection of books for the State Library ; and 
through the efforts of himself and associates there has been 
added to the library a large collection of books many of which are 
by North Carolina authors. In 1907 Governor Glenn appointed 
him a member of the re-organized State Historical Commission. 
He and his associates on the commission are zealously laboring 
to preserve the invaluable records of the State and will soon be- 
gin the publication of many interesting documents. 

Professor Hill has also had experience as a journalist in North 
Carolina, having served as editor of The Southern Home, a 
weekly paper which was founded by his distinguished father, and 
which had a wide circulation and exerted a great influence. 

The interest felt by Professor Hill in state history and in the 
wars in which his ancestors have borne so distinguished a part 
has led him to connect himself with several hereditary societies, 
among which are the North Carolina Society of the Sons of the 
Revolution, and United Sons of Confederate Veterans. He is a 
communicant of the Presbyterian church at Raleigh, and an elder 
of that church, and his walk in life is consistent with his religious 
profession. In politics he is affiliated with the Democratic party. 
One of his brothers, Hon. Joseph M. Hill, is chief justice of the 
Supreme Court of Arkansas ; another brother. Dr. Randolph W. 
Hill, is a resident of California. 

On July 22, 1885, Professor Hill married Miss Pauline White, 
of Milledgeville, Ga., a daughter of Dr. Samuel G. White, surgeon 
in the United States navy, and their union has been blessed with 
five children, all of whom are living. 

Marshall DeL, Haywood, 


'f born in Middletown, Conn., March 26, 1817, 
J He was the son of John and Harriet Johnston 
) Hinsdale, and was directly descended from 
L Deacon Robert Hinsdale, the head of the family 
£ in America, who came from England and was a 
proprietor of the town of Dedham, Mass., in 1637; he was one of 
the founders of Dedham First Church, November 8, 1638. 

He, with three of his sons, Samuel, Barnabas, and John, was 
killed at Bloody Brook, near Deerfield, Mass., September 18, 1675, 
in the dreadful massacre of whites by the Indians under King 

The family of Hinsdale is of French and Dutch origin, being 
settled in Brabant at the end of the twelfth century. 

Harriet Johnston Hinsdale was a direct descendent of Captain 
Giles Hamhn, who came to Middletown in 1654 and there passed 
an honorable life, holding many important positions in civil life, 
being also a mariner and shipowner. From him many distin- 
guished men and women in all parts of this country claim descent. 
The father of the subject of this sketch was a merchant and 
shipowner in Middletown, Conn.; he possessed at one time great 
wealth and always an honorable position. The firm of J. & D. 
Hinsdale owned as many as twenty ships engaged in foreign and 
coastwise commerce. The son was educated in Connecticut, was 


graduated from the New York College of Pharmacy in 1837, and 
was for three years a clerk in the largest drug house in the United 
States, Rush & Aspinwall; he then established a business of his 
own at Buffalo, N. Y. He was married September 2, 1841, in 
Fayctteville, N. C, to Elizabeth Christophers, daughter of Ichabod 
Wctmore, cashier of the Bank of the State of North Carolina, 
and niece of Hon. George E. Badger. In 1843 ^^ removed to 
Fayetteville and opened a drug store, the first established in that 
town ; indeed up to that time there were few drug stores except 
in the large cities, physicians generally, or their assistants, dis- 
pensing their own prescriptions. 

The principal part of the business section of Fayetteville was 
destroyed by fire in 1845, ^"^ ^^^ ^^g store was consumed with 
all its contents ; the morning after the fire, while the smoke still 
rose from the ruins. Dr. Hinsdale, with that characteristic energy 
with which his business was conducted, took the stage for New 
York to purchase another stock of good^, and before the house 
was rebuilt the goods were there to fill it. 

From this time until his retirement from business in 1885, *his 
was the leading establishment of its kind in the State, and in it 
several of the best pharmacists in the State were educated. 

He was a prominent figure in the business, social and religious 
life of the community. Ever mindful of the amenities of life, he 
never permitted his business to so engross him as to make him 
neglectful of those social courtesies which mark the true gentle- 

Descended on both sides from the purest New England stock, 
a Whig in politics, bound by ties of relationship to so many of the 
best people in New England, his near twenty years' citizenship in 
North Carolina made him absolutely true to the State of his 
adoption. Especially devoted to the preservation of the Union, 
when the time came which demanded a choice, he was firm in his 
support of the Confederacy, to which he gave valuable services 
out of his means and skill in the preparation of chemical explo- 
sives. He was a bountiful contributor to the support and comfort 
of the soldiers and his only son came out of the University of 


North Carolina, though much of his preparatory education was 
obtained in the North, entered the Confederate army, in which he 
was a distinguished officer, serving as adjutant-general to Briga- 
dier-General Pettigrew, Major-General Pender and Lieutenant- 
General Holmes, and reaching the rank of colonel of infantry. 

After Dr. Hinsdale's retirement from active business, he was 
engaged in experimental chemistry for his own amusement and 
for the benefit of science. He fitted up an extensive laboratory, 
in which he conducted his experiments and furnished it with a 
well-selected library of chemical works ; he made discoveries and 
inventions which he freely gave to the profession ; he corresponded 
with scientific men and savants and contributed valuable articles 
to the chemical and pharmaceutical journals, and as long as he 
lived kept up an active interest in the affairs and advancement 
of his profession. He was at one time president of the Pharmaceu- 
tical Association of North Carolina, and a member of the National 
Association, whose meetings he attended. 

Several times he was required as an expert to make analysis 
and testify in the courts on the trial of cases of persons charged 
with murder by poisoning; on such occasions it was his custom to 
prepare a careful statement of his investigations and their results 
and to read it to the jury; so accurate was he in every detail that 
there was little use for cross-examination. 

He was an enthusiastic chess player and was ever ready to 
lay aside his studies to play a game of chess, for which he was 
invariably sought by every devotee of this scientific game who 
considered himself an expert and generally with the same result, 
for few could beat him. 

Mrs. Hinsdale died in 1885 after a companionship with him for 
forty-two years, in which she had participated in his early efforts, 
been his helpmeet and friend, and enjoyed with him the fruits of 
his success. A son and daughter survived him, Colonel John W. 
Hinsdale, of Raleigh, and Mrs. Fannie Hinsdale MacRae, wife of 
Judge James C. MacRae, of the University of North Carolina. 

Mrs. Hinsdale was directly descended from the most distin- 
guished of the Pilgrim fathers who came over in the Mayflower; 


indeed Dr. and Mrs. Hinsdale trace back their common ancestry 
to Elder William Brewster and Governor William Bradford of 
distinguished fame. She was a woman of great intelligence and a 
most lovable disposition. They were both members of St. 
John's Episcopal Church; they were prominent in all the good 
work pertaining to the religious life and charity of the church, 
she having been for a long time the president of the guild which 
then bore the name of the Ladies' Benevolent Association, ante- 
dating by many years any of the present organizations within the 
churdi. And he was for thirty-six years a vestryman, and 
for twenty-seven years senior warden of the parish, and his pastor 
testifies that in all those years he was present at the meetings 
of the vestry unless absent from the town or detained by illness 
of himself or some member of his family. 

In the days of her prosperity, when the membership of the 
church included men of large means, he cheerfully bore with them 
the expense of her liberal support. But when the days darkened, 
wealth departed and her circumstances were straitened, he con- 
tributed to her support in manifold proportion. He was a fre- 
quent attendant upon her councils and served upon her standing 
committee in the dioceses of North and of East Carolina. 

He married in 1886 Mrs. Mary Brad fort, daughter of Colonel 
Thomas Waddill, of Fayettville, who ministered with tender affec- 
tion to him in his later years, herself a child of the church and 
leader in all its good works and much beloved by those who are her 
associates and friends. She with one son, Theodore, still survives 

Dr. Hinsdale's pastor and most intimate friend. Rev. Dr. Joseph 
C. Huske, who not long after followed him to rest, in a most 
beautiful tribute to his memory, among other things said : 

**And I need not tell any man in this town that our departed friend was 
a man of spotless integrity, of careful business habits, of profound knowl- 
edge and liberal culture in his profession, of an abounding charity to the 
poor of all names, and of a generous and yet modest style of living — no 
mean virtue in an age of sham. His was not only a good, but a gracious 
life among his fellow-men." 


In the private circle his virtues illustrated the beauty of a Chris- 
tian life. His charities were of that quiet, unostentatious and dis- 
criminating character which endeared him to the really necessitous 
and made his departure to them a loss indeed. No poor man was 
ever turned away hungry from his gates. He was "full of com- 
passion and ready to do good to all men according to his ability 
and opportunities." He visited the fatherless and the widow in 
her affliction, and in the purity of his own life he kept himself un- 
spotted from the world. Within the precincts of his home he was 
a loving husband, a kind father, a good friend. He used hospitality 
and was not forgetful to entertain strangers. 

When the evening began to close around him, he set his house 
in order and arranged in their details the last rites to be performed 
in all simplicity, and named the trusted friends who were to bear 
him to his rest. 

After much weariness and suffering, at last, on June 14, 1894, 
the spirit of peace settled upon the room where he lay, surrounded 
by the living ones whom he loved, ministering to his departing 
moments in tenderest solicitude, and he seemed to see others there 
invisible to mortal eye, and then he fell asleep "at peace with God 
and in perfect charity with man" James C. MacRae. 





judge of the Supreme Court of the colony in 1701. Prominent in 
those early days, her ancestors in a succeeding generation were 
zealous in Revolutionary times. He also descends on his father's 
side from General Comfort Sage, a colonel in the Continental 
army and afterward a general of local troops, and from Jabez 
Hamlin, also a distinguished colonel in the Continental army. 

The Hinsdales sprang from a French family, Robert de Hin- 
nesdal, having fled to England from France to escape religious 
persecution. One of his grandsons, Robert Hinsdale, emigrated 
to America in 1638 and settled in Deer field, where he was killed 
in the massacre by the Indians ; and from him Colonel Hinsdale 
is a descendant in the ninth generation. 

With such a lineage, Colonel Hinsdale is related to many of 
the foremost families both in New England and in North Caro- 
lina, and inherited not only high powers, but strength of character 
and firm convictions. 

He was born while his parents were still at Buffalo, N. Y., 
on February 4, 1843. ^ ^^^ months later his father moved to 
Fayetteville, where his boyhood was passed, and he received 
his preparatory training at the celebrated Donaldson Academy 
on Haymount. He then became a pupil at Starr's Military Acad- 
emy at Yonkers, N. Y., and eventually, in 1859, entered the 
University at Chapel Hill. He was always a fine student, and 
took first distinction in all of his classes at the University. On 
the breaking out of the war he abandoned his books, and 
although but eighteen years of age, was commissioned a second 
lieutenant in the Eighth North Carolina regiment, and was or- 
dered to report to Brigadier-General T. H. Holmes, commanding 
a brigade on the Potomac. He reached General Holmes on July 
23, 1861, at Manassas, the day after the battle of Bull Run, was 
assigned to duty as his aid-de-camp, and continued to serve in that 
capacity while General Holmes was in command at Acquia Creek, 

In February, 1862, J. Johnston Pettigrew was commis- 
sioned brigadier-general; Lieutenant Hinsdale was assigned to 
duty with him as adjutant-general ; served with him at the battle 


of Seven Pines, and in that baptism of blood acted with con- 
spicuous gallantry and won his spurs, narrowly escaping death, 
his horse being killed under him. General Pettigrew himself was 
wounded, and fell into the hands of the enemy. General W. D. 
Pender was then assigned to the command of the brigade and 
Lieutenant Hinsdale continued to act as his adjutant-general. He 
again distinguished himself during the seven days' battle arotmd 
Richmond, receiving merited compliments in the official report 
of General Pender for his courage, intrepidity and gallant bearing 
on the field. Shortly thereafter General Holmes, having been 
created commander of the trans-Mississippi department, applied 
for Captain Hinsdale, who accompanied him to Arkansas, and 
served upon his staff as adjutant-general. At the battle of Helena, 
Ark., Captain Hinsdale again distinguished himself for bravery 
and courage, being the first mounted officer who entered the 
Federal fort on Graveyard Hill, supposed to be the key of 
Helena, where rained a tempest of shot and shell so deadly that 
scarcely a bird could live. Later he served for a short time with 
General Sterling Price as inspector-general. The esteem in 
which he was held by the officers in the trans-Mississippi depart- 
ment is well expressed in a recommendation made by General 
Holmes for his promotion : *'He is an officer of great merit both 
in the field and in the office. In the field he is full of energy and 
enterprise, with coolness and discretion. In the office, few men 
are more capable." 

When toward the close of April, 1864, Lieutenant-General 
Holmes returned to the east and was assigned to the duty of 
organizing the reserves of North Carolina, Captain Hinsdale con- 
tinued to be his adjutant-general ; and when the Third regiment 
of Junior Reserves was organized (Seventy-second North Carolina 
troops) he was elected its colonel, and in general orders, General 
Holmes directed him to join his regiment as colonel. The order 
continued : 

"The lieutenant-colonel commanding in taking leave of Colonel Hins- 
dale, tenders his warm congratulations on his promotion and earnestly 
hopes that the intelligence, zeal and gallantry which have characterized 


his services as a staff officer may be matured by experience into greater 
usefulness in his new and more extended sphere." 

The Junior Reserves were lads of from seventeen to eighteen 
years of age. Their duty was to serve in North Carolina; yet 
when necessity arose, they volunteered to a man to go to Virginia, 
and went. 

The battalions that were organized into the Seventy-second 
regiment had been among the gallant defenders of Fort Fisher 
in the first attack, when the enemy were driven off. When Colonel 
Hinsdale took command, the regiment was at Goldsboro, and was 
soon ordered to Kinston, where at South West Creek they 
engaged the enemy, who on March 6th had come from New Bern. 
They advanced to the attack as steady as veterans and drove the 
enemy before them, unhappily suffering the loss of a number of 
brave young officers and men. By a hasty march, they reached 
Smithfield on March i6th, from Kinston, in time to face General 
Sherman's army, which was approaching from Fayetteville. At 
the battle of Bentonville, Colonel Hinsdale and his regiment, to- 
gether with the other Junior Reserves, constituted the right of 
Hoke's division, and were supported by a battery of Starr's bat- 
talion of artillery. The enemy made a heavy charge on Hoke's 
division and were driven back. The Confederate loss in that battle 
was 2343, while that of the Federals was nearly twice that number. 
Indeed it is said that the Confederates, although this was the 
last battle of the war, never fought with greater spirit. Writing 
concerning the conduct of the Junior Reserves on that occasion, 
General Hoke said : "At Bentonville they held a very important 
part of the battlefield in opposition to Sherman's old and tried 
soldiers, and repulsed every charge that was made upon them, 
with very meagre and rapidly thrown up breastworks. Their 
conduct in camp, on the march, and on the battlefield was every- 
thing that could be expected of them, and I am free to say was 
equal to that of the old soldiers who passed through four years 
of war." This well-deserved ecomium is measurably attributable 
to the fine conduct of the young men, induced by the gallant bearing 
of their officers, and of it Colonel Hinsdale is entitled to a large 


share, for although the youngest colonel in the service, he had 
had four years' experience, and was a very capable and efficient 
disciplinarian. Under General Hoke he led his regiment through 
Raleigh and Chapel Hill, and across Alamance Creek to Red 
Cross, twenty miles south of Greensboro, reaching there on April 
1 6th, where the regiment remained until April 26th, when General 
Johnston and General Sherman made the first agreement for 
surrender; and on May 2, 1865, Colonel Hinsdale and the rem- 
nant of his regiment were paroled at Bush Hill, and sorrowfully 
turned their faces homeward. 

Immediately after the war had closed. Colonel Hinsdale, pro- 
posing to become a lawyer, went to New York and entered the 
Columbia College Law School, and in 1866 was admitted to the bar 
in that State, and the same year began the practice in North Car- 
olina. He soon established a reputation for zeal and efficiency 
and indefatigability in the service of his clients. He was excel- 
lently prepared and admirably equipped for the profession, and 
met with great success from the very beginning of his career. In 
1875 his reputation had become so extended and his practice 
called him so frequently to remote courts, that he moved to 
Raleigh, where he became the attorney for North Carolina of the 
Seaboard Air Line system and otherwise largely increased his 
practice. He is a member of the Bar of the United States 
Supreme Court, and has conducted a number of important cases 
in that court, among them Seymour v. The Western Railroad Com- 
pany, arising from a railroad construction contract and involving 
$250,000 ; an important will case, Hawkins v, Blake ; The Patapsco 
Guano Company v. The North Carolina Board of Agriculture, 
involving the constitutionality of the fertilizer tax laws of North 
Carolina ; and Wetzell v. The Minnesota Railway Transfer Com- 
pany. This last case was a remarkable one. Wetzell, a soldier, 
died during the Mexican war, leaving a widow and four infant 
children, to whom was issued by the Government a land warrant 
for 160 acres of government land for Mrs. Wetzell and her chil- 
dren. She undertook to sell the warrant without obtaining from 
the courts authority to dispose of the interest of her minor chil- 


dren, so that their title did not pass. The purchaser located the 
warrant where St. Paul is now built. In 1900 the children and 
their descendants first came to know their rights, and imme- 
diately began a suit to set up a trust in their favor. The case 
was taken by appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, 
where Colonel Hinsdale was a leading counsel for the claimants. 
Senator Davis of Minnesota represented the defendants. The 
claimants' right to the land was clearly demonstrated, but the 
Supreme Court decided against them on the ground that they had 
been guilty of laches in not instituting their suit at an earlier day. 
The case involved five million dollars worth of property. He 
prominently represented the State in the litigation in the circuit 
court of the United States between the Corporation Commission 
of North Carolina and the Seaboard Air Line, the Southern, and 
the Coast Line Railroad companies. The question involved nearly 
half a million of dollars of taxes and was finally settled upon 
terms perfectly satisfactory to the State. 

Colonel Hinsdale has appeared in many of the most prominent 
cases arising in the State, but perhaps the most notable of them all 
was a criminal prosecution which, in 1895, he conducted to a 
brilliant termination, against a band of graveyard insurance con- 
spirators in Beaufort, N. C, for conspiracy to cheat and defraud; 
landing them in the state penitentiary and in the county jail. This 
case attracted more attention throughout the United States than 
any other insurance case that has ever been tried. Colonel 
Hinsdale has devoted most of his attention to insurance law, and 
is considered one of the first insurance lawyers in the State. 

Colonel Hinsdale is not only one of the best-read lawyers in 
the State, but he has an extensive library of more than five thou- 
sand volumes, embracing the best and latest law publications. 

He is the author of the Nonsuit Act, which permits the defend- 
ant to move for a non-suit after the plaintiff has offered his evi- 
dence, with the liberty of introducing evidence if his motion is 
disallowed, thus shortening trials and saving much time and ex- 
pense. He is also the author of the Equity Reference Act, which 
allows the reference of an equity cause and enables the Supreme 


Court to review the facts in an equity cause as contemplated 
and directed by the constitution of 1868. Both of these acts have 
the approval of the Bar, and are highly beneficial in their results. 

While Colonel Hinsdale has led such a busy life that he has 
written but little outside of his profession, in 1875 lie made a 
contribution to the literature of the profession by publishing an 
annotated edition of Winston's North Carolina Reports, which 
bears evidence of much careful preparation and iine powers of 

Although an indefatigable worker, the Colonel enjoys society 
and is never happier than when surrounded by his friends at his 
hospitable board. An ardent Democrat, he has never sought polit- 
ical preferment, but having attained a great reputation in his 
profession, he enjoys an enviable position among the strong men 
of the State. In his life he has had no reverses, but has made 
constant progress toward the highest social and professional 
aninence. Being asked if he would offer any suggestion that 
might be helpful to young people, he says, "Whatever of success 
in life I have achieved, has been through assiduous and persis- 
tent work. Sobriety, industry and perseverance, punctuality and 
courtesy will command success and will contribute most to the 
strengthening of sound ideals in our American life." 

Colonel Hinsdale is a member of the Episcopal Church, and is 
a member of the L. O'B. Firanch Camp of Confederate Veterans. 

He married, in 1869, Miss Ellen Devereux, a lovely daughter 
of Major John Devereux, and one of the most elegant of her sex, 
who, like her husband, takes a great interest in all matters that 
pertain to the Confederate veterans. She was at one time presi- 
dent of the chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, and 
treasurer of the North Carolina division U. D. C, and a member 
of the Colonial Dames and Daughters of the Crown, and is con- 
nected with many patriotic, church, and charitable organizations, 
being indeed one of the most active and zealous ladies engaged 
in good works in North Carolina. Six children have blessed their 
union, all of whom survive. S. A. Ashe. 


^ROM the best information obtainable the Holt 
( family is of German extraction. Some forms of 
? the name are now found in many parts of Ger- 
i many and in contiguous provinces of adjoining 
\ nations. For several centuries, however, numer- 
l ous branches of the family have lived in Eng- 
land, spelling the name as above. The Holts in America are 
mainly, if not entirely, descended from English stock. There 
are in North Carolina two distinct branches of the family, the 
eastern branch and the Alamance branch. How soon the 
eastern branch came into the State, we do not know. In the 
district once composed of Beaufort and Hyde, as early as 1723, 
Martin Holt is recorded as a freeholder; and in 1737 another of 
the same name, perhaps the same man, entered a claim at Newton 
(Wilmington) for 640 acres of land in New Hanover. ("Colonial 
Records," vol. iv, p. 329.) From this source the Holts of New 
Hanover, Johnston, and adjoining counties are probably 

The Holts of Alamance are descended from Michael Holt, 
who came to Orange County from Virginia about 1740, probably— 
along with the stream of Scotch-Irish immigration to the valley 
of the Haw River. He obtained a grant from Earl Granville of 
several hundred acres of land, lying between and probably cover- 
ing the sites of the present thriving towns of Graham and Burling- 


ton. The site of his home is still distinctly to be seen halfway 
between these towns, on the north side of the macadam road, 
opposite the county aUnshouse, on what is locally known as the 
Whidbcc place. Of his children, and he had several, we have no 
account, except William, who was killed by the Tory, Colonel 
O'Neill ; John and Nicholas, who became heads of families whose 
descendants are yet to be found in Alamance and adjoining 
counties; and Michael Holt, Jr., the subject of this sketch. 

Michael Holt was a very prosperous man for his day ; a good 
farmer, an excellent machinist, wide-awake, and very progressive. 
The old family burial plot is in the pine woods a few hundred 
yards north of the almshouse, and here he and various members 
of his family lie buried (Letters of Mrs. Maria Holt Foust). He 
died about 1765. 

Among the Holts of Alamance there are a few who claim that 
this pioneer came from Germany, through Pennsylvania, and that 
the spelling of the name was Holz or Holtz or Houltz. Those who 
claim he was German-born base their opinion on Smyth's "Tour in 
the United States of America," published in 1784. In this book the 
writer states that several years before that time, while traveling 
tlirough North Carolina, he spent the night with Michael Holt, 
Jr.; that he was a ''Dutchman," though "bom in this country, 
the son of German parents." As this book was written by a 
casual traveler in a strange land, some twelve years after the 
incidents narrated, we need not expect it to be a cyclopedia of 
genealogical truth. Later still he states that Michael Holt, Jr., 
"fought with the British and Tories at Moore's Creek Bridge, and 
was there taken prisoner," etc. The "Colonial Records" show this 
to be absolutely untrue. Hence the narrative in detail is to be 
discredited. Those who claim that the name of Holt was ever 
spelled any other way in Orange County, make an assertion un- 
supported by a single record, by any inscription on a tomb, or 
even bv dim uncertain tradition. 

The general traditions in the family are to the effect that the 
Alamance Holts are English, that they belong to the Hazelhurst 
family in that country, and that this pioneer was a grand-nephew 


of Sir John Holt, Lord Chief Justice of Great Britain. To such 
an extent is this relationship credited, that many branches of the 
family from time immemorial have used the Redgrave Hall coat 
of arms, with its three fleurs-de-lis, which point back to Alsace, 
whence this branch of the family came to England. While the 
writer has been unable to verify this tradition definitely in estab- 
lishing line of descent, owing to the destruction of records, the 
unanimity of traditions in widely separated branches of this family 
may well be given enough credence to enable us to state that the 
Holts of Alamance are intimately connected with this well-known 
English branch of the Holt family. 

Michael Holt, Jr., came with his father to North Carolina about 
1740. He spent the first years of his life learning the blacksmith's 
trade, and became a very skillful one. Every dollar that he earned 
he put into land. He had the Midas touch, and by means of his 
store and shop soon became a prominent landowner, his posses- 
sions in the south extending as far as Staukin Quarter (Stinking 
Quarter) Creek, and a long distance in the directions of Hillsboro 
and Greensboro. In 1760 he took up from the agents of Earl 
Granville 510 acres of land on the waters of Little Alamance 
Creek, and built his home on the stage road leading from Hills- 
boro to Salisbury, where he spent the rest of his life. This land 
embraced the Dr. Pleasant Holt farm, and part of the Dr. Michael 
W. Holt farm, now owned by Thomas C. Foust, one of his great- 
grandsons, and the intervening land on the Little Alamance. 
The original survey and deed are the property of Mr. FousL The 
home place proper, where he lived and where he lies buried, passed 
by his will into the hands of his son William ; then to Dr. Pleasant 
A. Holt ; then to Daniel Holt, a great-grandson of Michael Holt's 
brother John ; then to Mr. Rauhut of Burlington, a son-in-law of 
Daniel Holt. A new road was built in the last century from the 
Dr. M. W. Holt place to Belmont Mills, and the road by the old 
homestead has been discontinued. 

Michael Holt, by virtue of his strong common sense, business 
sagacity and sturdy character, was one of the leaders of men in 
his part of Orange County, and was selected very naturally as 


one of the king's representatives. He became magistrate by 
ro)ral appointment, in which capacity he served till the Revolution. 
He was also appointed captain of militia^ which office he held 
during the troubles with the Regulators. 

It is not the purpose of the writer to discuss the abuses which 
led good citizens to assemble and petition for a redress of griev- 
ances, as they had a right to do. But in company with all careful 
students of history, we must deplore that mob violence as a blot 
on the fair name of our State, which under the name of Regulators 
took the law into its own hands, maltreated good citizens, upset 
the existing stability of government ; and this could have but one 
righteous end and merited rebuke, and that was Alamance. So 
when on April 8, 1768, one hundred of these rioters rode boldly 
into Hillsboro and took from the sheriff a horse which had been 
levied on for taxes, bound the sheriff with ropes, and maltreated 
other citizens, Lieutenant-Colonel John Gray of the Orange 
County militia prepared to raise troops to protect officers of the 
law and the town from future attacks. For this purpose he called 
a council of the officers under him. Among them was Captain 
Michael Holt. And while it was impossible to get together many 
effective men as the result of this conference, Captain Francis 
Nash, one of the council, said that all the officers behaved with the 
"utmost loyalty and courage, and to a man could be relied upon to 
venture their lives and fortunes for the suppression of this 
lawlessness" (Col. Rec, vol. vii, pp. 710-712). The stand 
Michael Holt took with reference to the regulators, living as he 
did in their stronghold, is a tribute to his great love of law and 
order, as well as to his personal courage. For it cost him dear. 
The hard earnings of years were swept away by incendiarism 
and pillage, but it did not move him from his firm base, nor dull 
the edge of the sword with which he was ever ready to fight for 
the restoration of civic order (Letter from Mrs. Maria Holt 
Foust) . 

Later still, September 21, 1770, the leaders of the Regulators 
broke into the court room at Hillsboro, where Judge Richard 
Henderson was holding court, did violence to his person, dragged 


William Hooper violently through the street, whipped Alexander 
Martin (later governor), Francis Nash (later general in the 
Revolutionary army), and Captain Michael Holt, tore to pieces 
houses of prominent citizens, and wound up with a mock court, 
which showed not only their utter contempt for law, but also for 
decency (Col. Rec, vol. vii, p. 67). 

What Michael Holt's attitude was in the war of the Regulators, 
which occurred a few months later, there can be no doubt ; all his 
sympathies were on the side of Tryon. There is no proof that he 
took an active part in the war or in the battle of Alamance ; but 
the battle was fought on land owned by him south of the Great 
Alamance, and the camp, five miles from the battle ground, on the 
Hillsboro road, was also on his land, near Belmont Mills; and 
after the battle his home, two miles from the camp, on the Hills- 
boro road, was converted into a temporary hospital for the 
wounded of Tryon's army. If circumstances kept him out of the 
actual engagement, we may be sure it was not a lack of personal 
courage, or fear of loss of property, or evidence of a reversion of 
feeling against the lawless actions of an irresponsible mob. (It is 
remarkable that to this day the battlefield, the camp, and the home 
of Michael Holt are in the hands of his descendants and relatives.) 

Most of Tryon's officers and sympathizers became ardent 
patriots during the war of the Revolution, while some of the 
Regulators were Tories. It is not strange, however, that a man 
of Michael Holt's temperament, his strong conservatism, his 
regard for the powers that were, in the interest of which he had 
lost his property and risked his life, would permit him easily to cut 
himself loose from his king, and ally himself with the American 
cause. All strong honest characters make up their minds slowly, 
the stronger, the more slowly. And so it seems to have taken 
Michael Holt some little time to divorce himself from his alle- 
giance to his oath and his king. 

And thus it happened that when, on January 10, 1776, Governor 
Josiah Martin called upon and commissioned twenty-six men, 
and among them Michael Holt, of the counties of Cumberland, 
Anson, Chatham, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Surry, and 


Bute, to set up the royal standard and raise troops **to the support 
of the laws against the most horrid and unnatural rebellion that 
threatens the subversion of his Majesty's government," and to 
march to Brunswick on the lower Cape Fear, Michael Holt heeded 
the call, set up the king's standard, raised the levy, and started 
with his men via Cross Creek, where he expected to join McDon- 
ald's army (Col. Rec, vol. x, pp. 441-442). 

For some reason satisfactory to himself, before he reached 
Cross Creek he called his men together, disbanded them, per- 
suaded most of them to return home, and went back himself to 
his fireside. What those reasons were may be surmised. It was 
not on account of the lack of any or all the qualities that go to 
make up the soldier or leader of men. The light perhaps had 
dawned upon him that loyalty to his own people outweighed his 
allegiance to the king. Not the least contributory cause was the 
number of his old enemies, the Regulators, who were flocking to 
Brunswick at the governor's call, and whose education in the 
school of lawlessness and violence was bearing fruit on this march 
in pillage and high-handed robbery of the weak and defenseless. 
For he is reported to have said in his speech to his men in dis- 
banding them, "I cannot persuade myself to be so loyal to my 
king as to consort with this crowd" (Letters of Isaac Holt). 

In May he was arrested and at Halifax was adjudged guilty of 
"leading forth to war a company of men" at the call of Governor 
Martin; and in June thereafter was taken to Philadelphia and 
imprisoned (Col. Rec, vol. x, p. 601). In September following, 
the Council of Safety for the province of North Carolina held 
its sessions in the town of Salisbury. This committee was com- 
posed of Willie Jones, for the congress; James Coor and John 
Simpson, for New Bern district ; Thomas Eaton and Joseph John 
Williams, for Halifax district; Cornelius Harnett and Samuel 
Ashe, for Wilmipgton district; Thomas Person and John Rand, 
for Hillsboro district; Hezekiah Alexander and William Sharpe, 
for Salisbury district (Col. Rec, vol. x, pp. 581-582). On Sep- 
tember 9, 1776, we find the following entry in the minutes of the 
council (Col. Rec, vol. x, pp. 827-828) : 


"Read the petition of Michael Holt, late of Orange County, at present 
under confinement in the city of Philadelphia, praying release, etc; also a 
petition from the committee of said county setting forth that in their opin- 
ion the releasement of the said Michael Holt would not in anywise injure 
the cause of liberty in this State. 

"This board, taking the said petition into consideration, and having col- 
lected all the evidence for and against the said Holt with respect to his 
march in order to join McDonald's army, find many circumstances in 
his favor, inasmuch when he was fully acquainted with the intention of 
the Tories he did actually return home, and was the means of inducing 
a number of others to follow his example without a junction with the 
Scotch army. 

"Resolved, That he be recommended to the Continental Congress as an 
object of compassion, and that the delegates for this State use their utmost 
endeavor to get him discharged from his present imprisonment in order 
that he may return home to his family, he first taking an oath to this 
State, a copy of which is ordered to be enclosed to said delegates." 

As soon as this petition got before the Continental Congress 
Michael Holt was released, and returned to recuperate his broken 
fortunes. That his opinions had undergone a change is evidenced 
by the fact, that v^hile he did not go actually into the field for the 
American cause, in his sympathies he was with his home country. 
He gave freely of his means to the impoverished coffers of the 
colonies, and just before the battle of Guilford Court House, sent 
a drove of fat cattle into the needy camp of General Greene 
(Letters of Isaac Holt). 

Michael Holt was married twice. His first wife was Margaret 
O'Neill, the daughter of a well-to-do Irish family on an adjoining 
plantation, and a sister of the well-known Tory of that name. By 
her he had three children, one son and two daughters: Joseph, 
who moved to Kentucky and became the progenitor of a prom- 
inent family ; Elizabeth, who married Tobias Smith, family disap- 
peared ; and Margaret, who married a Mr. Powell, whose family 
has also disappeared. Margaret O'Neill died about 1765. In 1767 
he married Jean Lockhart, belonging to a prominent Scotch family 
(descended from Sir Simon Lockhart) which had come into this 
State from Virginia, and settled near Hillsboro. She is said to 
have been a woman of rare beauty, as well as of strong common 


isense. She survived her husband several years, dying in 1813. 
By her Michael Holt had seven children, four sons and three 

1. Sarah, born in 1769, married John Harden, and lived one- 
half mile south of where Graham now stands. She had two sons 
and four daughters: George, who married Miss McRae first, 
then Miss Turrentine; John, who married Jeremiah Holt's 
daughter; Sarah, who married James Wren; Elizabeth, who 
married first Lewis Holt, then Captain William Holt; Mary, 
who married John Procter ; and Margaret, who married George 
Hurdle. These have many descendants in North Carolina to-day. 

2. Joshua, born in 1771, married Miss Burrow. To them were 
bom five sons and two daughters: Michael, who married Miss 
Wilhough ; Jordan, who also married a Miss Wilhough ; Hiram, 
who married Miss Greer ; Nimrod, who died young ; Herod, who 
married Miss Greer; Nellie, who married Mr. Neece; Candace, 
unmarried. Early in the nineteenth century Joshua Holt removed 
to Tennessee, and became prominent in politics. His descendants 
are still to be found there. 

3. Isaac, bom 1773, died in 1823. He married Lettie Scott, 
daughter of John Scott, planter, and his wife, Betty Machen, who 
owned the Ruffin place on Alamance Creek, three miles south of 
Graham. She was a sister of Mrs. William Kirkland and Mrs. 
Archibald D. Murphey. They had three sons and three daughters : 

(a) Thomas Scott, first wife Sallie Foust; children: John, 
who married Louisa Williams (J. A. and M. H. Holt) ; Isaac 
(Miss Walker); Eliza (Mrs. Daniel Setliff ) ; Lettie (Mrs. 
Wright) ; Henry (Miss Setliff). Then he married Bettie Millo- 
way ; children : Thomas, Sarah, and Edwin. 

(b) Mariah married George Foust; children: Isaac married 
Mary Holt; George; Monroe; Thomas C. married Miss Rob- 
bins (Professors J. I. and T. R. Foust) ; Barbary (Mrs. Rogers) ; 
Caroline (Mrs. Graves); Mary (Mrs. Graves); Lettie (Mrs. 
John Whitsett) ; Mariah, unmarried. 

(c) Eliza (Mrs. Thomas Roan) lived at Carthage; several 


(d) Amelia (Mrs. Wray) moved to Illinois; left several chil- 

(e) Isaac married Miss Puryear; children: Seymour, Edwin 
(physician), James, Isaac (died young), Mariah (Mrs. George 
White), Margaret (Mrs. Crutchfield). 

{f) Archibald (physician) moved to Tennessee, where he 
married, succeeded in life and left several children. 

Isaac Holt's second wife was Polly Blair. She survived him, 
and became the fourth wife of Seymour Puryear. 

Isaac Holt was a prosperous and successful mechanic, farmer, 
merchant, landowner, and slave-holder ; he lived on the Salisbury 
and Hillsboro road, near the Alamance battle-ground. The house 
he built in 1810 and lived in, and the storehouse he built and 
used are still standing. His homestead has been in the hands of 
the Graves family for seventy years. He and his first wife are 
buried on this farm. 

4. Mary (Polly), born 1775; married Anthony Thompson; 
lived opposite Isaac Holt on the farm more recently owned by 
Austin Isely. The old chimney-place is still pointed out — a few 
feet in the rear of the brick residence now standing. Of 
their children, Anderson married Miss Albright; William, Miss 
Clendenin; Duke, Miss Cude; Anthony, Miss Cude; Jennie, 
Mr. James; Nancy, Mr. Finley; Lettie and Polly did not 

5. Katherine (Kitty), born 1776; married her uncle John 
Holt's son, William, and moved to Tennessee, where they left a 
large family. 

6. Michael (third), born 1778, died 1842; he married Rachel 
Rainey, daughter of Benjamin Rainey, a prominent minister of 
the Christian Church, and granddaughter of William Rainey. 
Their children were: 

(a) William Rainey Holt (1798-1868), a physician, of whom 
a sketch follows. 

(fc) Jane Lockhart Holt (Mrs. John Holt) left three children. 

(c) Polly (died young). 

{d) Alfred Augustus, died at age of twenty-one. 


(e) Bdwin Michael Holt (1807- 1884), whose sketch also 

(f) Nancy Holt married William A. Carrigan, May 17, 1827; 
children, Alfred Holt (judge), William, Robert, and James. 

Michael Holt (the third) was a man of much influence. As a 
fanner he was progressive and successful. He introduced the 
cultivation of clover and blooded cattle into Alamance (letter from 
his pastor, Dr. Hauer). He was a representative from Orange 
in the lower house in 1804, and in the senate 1820 and 1821. His 
ideas as advanced before the people and in the halls of legislation 
on education and internal improvements, judging by his speeches, 
still extant, were fifty years in advance of his time. He lived on 
the Salisbury and Hillsboro road, one mile east of Isaac Holt's 
place, and on an adjoining farm, the place being now owned by 
his grandson, L. Banks Holt. 

(7) William, the youngest son of Michael Holt, Jr., and who 
lived and died at the old homestead, married Sallie Steele. They 
had a large family. Samuel was a physician and lived at Gra- 
ham ; Michael was also a physician. He married Miss Webb, and 
lived one mile south of Graham ; they had three children, James, 
Sallie (Mrs. James E. Boyd), and Annie (Mrs. William Foust) ; 
Joseph married Miss Boon ; they had several children : John R. 
(prominent minister of the Christian Church) married Miss Trol- 
lenger (several children) ; Milton married Miss Mebane and lived 
in Arkansas; Pleasant, noted physician, married Miss William- 
son, died in Florida; Sarah married Peter Harden and lived in 
Graham (several children) ; Mary married Isaac Foust, children: 
Henry, Sallie, Charles, Edwin and Lena. William Holt repre- 
sented his county in the General Assembly one term and was a 
man of great force. 

Michael Holt (second) was about five feet ten inches tall, and 
weighed about two hundred and twenty-five pounds. He was 
very dark, so much so that his German neighbors called him 
*'Black Michael." Many a jest was made at his expense on 
account of his complexion. A neighbor wit, seeing him carry an 


umbrella to keep off the sunshine, said, "Hello, Mike, carry- 
ing an umbrella to protect the Devil's leather!" Smyth, in his 
**Tour in the United States of America," as full as it is of errors, 
says that Mr. Michael Holt entertained him "with great hospital- 
ity"; that he "possesses considerable property, and has a large 
share of good sense and sound judgment," though lacking in the 
polish of education and travel ; that in the conversation "he enter- 
tained me and afforded me a good deal of satisfaction and infor- 
mation by his sensible, blunt and shrewd remarks on every 

Michael Holt's will is a model in the scrupulous care he took 
to treat his children with absolute fairness. He was wise enough to 
give them the largest portion of their patrimony while he was 
living. But the remaining property he bequeathed with as much 
exactness as if he had been distributing millions. To each of the 
sons and daughters, "One negro man, one negro woman" (names 
given), ''one horse, one cow, one calf, one feather bed and furni- 

Michael Holt was a faithful friend. His friendship once 
obtained lasted through adverse conditions no less than under 
auspicious skies. He stood ever ready to respond to the needs 
of those he loved, with open purse as well as with open heart. 
Fidelity to friends has always been a characteristic of a great 
earnest, honest soul ; and Michael Holt was no exception to the 
rule. Many traditions are preserved in the family proving this 
fidelity. Among his true and tried friends was Judge Richard 
Henderson, a relative of Hon. John S. Henderson, of Salisbury. 
He and Judge Henderson had together suffered at the hands of 
the Regulators, and this had not tended to weaken their mutual 
good will. 

We know but little about his religious character. He and his 
wife attended the Lutheran Church near by, although she was a 
Presbyterian, and he perhaps an Episcopalian. Of his rugged 
honesty and deep earnestness, there are many traditions; and 
there are good reasons to suppose that he was not without 
religious convictions of equal sincerity. Strict attention to his 


business, which he conducted according to the gol i 
him wealth, and at the same time surrounded him 

He died in 1799, at the age of seventy-six, full of years and 
honors, and was buried according to the customs of the day on 
his home farm, in the family burial plot. On his left skeps Mar- 
garet O'Neill, and on the right, Jean Lockhart. At his head stands 
a plain soapstone slab on which his name and dates of birth and 
death are inscribed. Below that are these lines: 

Remember, man, as you pass by, 
As you are now so once was I. 
As I am now 30 you must be. 
Prepare for death and follow me. 

Martin H. Holt. 



TlLL^Li^ K..-'. Ni:^.^: IONS 

I 1 

»<»n>»j*^» » «^ 


While yet at the University, the young collegian imbibed an 
unusual fondness for literature, which grew on him with passing 
years ; he treasured his books as friends, always taking particular 
care of them, and adding constantly to his library, which embraced 
classical authors, and standard works in science and other domains 
of intellectual endeavor. Indeed for high culture. Dr. Holt stood 
among the first of his contemporaries in North Carolina. 

As a physician he zealously sought improvement. Yearly in 
the earlier period of his practice, he found time to attend the 
clinics in Philadelphia, keeping abreast with the newest thought 
in scientific circles. Being very successful in his profession his 
reputation grew with advancing years, and his advice was sought 
by prominent physicians throughout the State. He was always 
ready to attend any bedside, for, like "the good physician," he 
sought to relieve suffering, indifferent to pecuniary compensation, 
ministering to the poor equally with those who were able to 
remunerate him for his services. 

Being well established in his practice, on May 14th, 1822, he 
was married to Mary Gizeal Allen, who lived ten years and bore 
him f\\e children : Elizabeth Allen, who married Dr. Dillon Lind- 
say, but died childless ; Elvira Jane, who married Joseph Erwin, 
of Morganton, and left a large family; Louisa, who died young; 
Mary Gizeal, who married Colonel Ellis, a brother of Governor 
Ellis; and John Allen Holt, of Salisbury. Mrs. Holt was a 
descendant of William Allen (the granduncle of Governor Allen 
of Ohio), who married Mary Parke, of the Parke-Custis family 
of \'irginia. Mrs. Holt dying, Dr. Holt married, two years later, 
Louisa Allen Hogan, a daughter of Colonel William Hogan and 
Elizabeth Allen. She was a granddaughter of William Allen and 
Mary Parke, thus being a first cousin of the first Mrs. Holt. 
Colonel Hogan was a son of John Hogan, a Revolutionary officer, 
whose wife, Mary, was a daughter of General Thomas Lloyd. 

In passing we should say that General Lloyd was one of the 
accomplished gentlemen of his day in North Carolina, being men- 
tioned by Mr. Hooper as "gifted with a fine imagination, and 
adorned with classical learning." He was recommended by Cover- 


nor Tryon to form one of his council, but being a practicing 
physician, the demands of his profession led him to decline the 
honor. Thus, for several generations, through the families of 
Lloyd, Hogan, Allen, and Parke, the children of this marriage 
inherited high characteristics. The fruits of the marriage were 
nine children: Louisa died in 1862, at ten years of age; Julia in 
i860, unmarried, at the age of twenty-five; Franklin in 1858, at 
the age of nineteen; James while a student at Chapel Hill; 
William Michael Holt died in 1862 at Richmond, Va., an 
officer in the Confederate army; and Eugene Randolph, having 
been taken prisoner, died on Johnson's Island in 1865, when just 
twenty-one years of age. Of the remaining children, Claudia E. 
Holt married D. C. Pearson, Esq. ; Frances married Charles A. 
Hunt, of Lexington ; and Amelia Holt married her cousin, Wil- 
liam Edwin Holt, to whom were born one son and five daughters. 

In his early life Dr. Holt indulged his tastes for literature ; not 
only of classic literature was he passionately fond, but he studied 
carefully all works of a scientific nature that would help him in 
his agricultural experiments. Though deeply occupied with his 
medical practice, he purchased a plantation in the Jersey settlement 
near the Yadkin River, adjoining the broad fields of both Gover- 
nor Ellis and Mr. Anderson Ellis. This he named Linwood; 
and here he spent much of his time, but made his home at Lexing- 
ton. After his second marriage he became still more interested 
in agriculture. His wife, Louisa Hogan, was a helpmate indeed, 
and by her judgment and management gave him much assistance. 

Dr. Holt gradually became more and more drawn to agri- 
cultural pursuits. After a period of depression, between 1840 and 
1850, the price of cotton revived, and he realized that a new era 
of prosperity was dawning for the South. He believed that the 
South would supply the world with cotton, and he entered with 
zeal on the cultivation of his plantation. He added acres on acres 
to Linwood, fertilizing his fields, using the most improved 
methods, thorough ditching, deep plowing, turning under fields 
of clover and of peas until neighboring farmers thought him some- 
what demented, not comprehending the philosophy of his sden- 


tific method. In his work, Dr. Holt had not only the advantage 
of the newest publications which he closely studied, but of personal 
friendship and intercourse with Mr. Edmund Ruffin and Professor 
Edmtmds, among the most thoughtful of scientific agriculturists. 
He studied the latest improved implements and introduced them 
into his community. It may be said that the best years of his 
life were devoted to this work — ^the basic work of civilization, a 
work too often left to the hewers of wood and drawers of 
water ; too often the pastime of mere theorists, but in its very con- 
ception carrying the priceless blessings of individual independence, 
communion with Nature in her varying moods, and sturdy charac- 
ter building. Dr. Holt's splendid success attested his skill and his 
fine management. He set the pace in the State not merely of 
superior cultivation, but in the development of improved herds of 
cattle and sheep. Durham and Devon were his favorites in the 
former, Southdowns in the latter, and his herds were not only a 
source of pleasure but of profit. 

Dr. Holt was careful of his labourers. He sought to improve 
the intelligence of his negroes and selected the most skilled of 
them for his foremen, and promoted pride among them by devolv- 
ing responsibility in them, and showing confidence in their faith- 
fulness. Their quarters were always made comfortable, and they 
were provided with an abundance of warm clothing, his ditchers 
having high rubber boots, and indeed on no farm in the State 
were the negroes better fed, housed or cared for. Peace and 
plenty reigned in their quarters. After seven years of unremitting 
hard work, Dr. Holt's lowlands were reclaimed, his meadows 
leveled and well drained, yielding fine crops of hay, clover and 
grass, and the wheat and cotton fields phenomenal crops. The 
reputation of his fine farm spread far and near. "Not a stone 
was to be found in the fields, nor a bramble nor a bush or weed, 
scientific culture had eliminated everything in the way of a nui- 
ance — every useless thing had given place to the useful." At a time 
when generally farming was slovenly, when the chief resources 
of the land were given to the production of cotton, Dr. Holt 
presented to the traveling public, passing by Linwood, an object 


lesson in practical farming rarely met with in that era. Agricul- 
turists from Baltimore and Richmond visited his farm and urged 
him to write his experiences for publication; even such men as 
the historian Bancroft and others of eminence were attracted to 
his hospitable home to witness his conquest of Nature and his art 
of compelling her to yield up her resources for the benefit of man. 

Although Dr. Holt had abandoned his medical practice, when, 
in 1857 and 1858, an epidemic of typhoid fever swept over David- 
son County, he again buckled on his armor to war with disease. 
The extent of this scourge was frightful, sometimes many mem- 
bers in a household succumbing to it. Dr. Holt entered actively 
on the work, insisting on strict hygienic regulations, clean wells, 
clean sheets, clean beds. He instituted a regular police surveil- 
lance on his farm, had all houses whitewashed inside and out, and 
squads were kept busy constantly cleaning. Thus he was spared 
any loss at his farm, and where his orders could be enforced on 
neighboring plantations, he was able to save others. But the 
dread disease passed but few doorsills. His own household did not 
escape, and several members of his family were attacked. He 
saved all except Franklin, then a youth of nineteen years; he, 
too, had recovered, but some exertions on a hot September day 
resulted in a relapse, and he fell a victim. Later Dr. Holt 
mourned the loss of his second son, James, of the same malady — 
he died at Chapel Hill, in his second term at the University. In 
i860 he likewise suffered a severe bereavement in the loss of his 
eldest daughter, Julia. She was beautiful and accomplished and a 
graduate of St. Mary's School, Raleigh. Particularly was she de- 
voted to music, and she and her father led the music in the church 
services. Of an amiable and sympathetic disposition, she visited 
the sick and poor, often accompanying her father in his profes- 
sional visits, and thus came to know the sterner side of life, never 
hesitating to perform the duties which her Christian zeal seemed 
to impose. Her loss touched the tenderest chords of her father's 
heart and laid low many of his most cherished hopes. 

A man so far-sighted and patriotic as Dr. Holt was interested 
not merely in his own concerns, but in the promotion of agricul- 


ture throughout the entire Commonwealth; thus he became an 
early promoter of the North Carolina Agricultural Society, and 
always attended the annual State Fair, which has been such a 
marked feature of that society's work. Indeed Chief Justice 
Ruffin, widely known as an excellent farmer, and the president of 
the Agricultural Society, was succeeded in that position by Dr. 
Holt, who continued to fill it until his death. Not only by ex- 
ample, but by precept and constant endeavor, he contributed to 
the development of the agricultural resources of the State. It is 
hard now to realize how backward was the material condition of 
North Carolina some sixty years ago. It was more than a taunt 
— being in some respects true, that North Carolina was a strip of 
land between two states. All the world knew that claims of 
superiority were continually made by Virginia and South Caro- 
lina, and were generally assented to. Our one popular state song, 
Gaston's "Old North State," had for its burden an apology. Tour- 
ists from the north or south, on business or pleasure, saw of the 
State only the vast stretches of pine barrens which then lay be- 
tween Weldon and Wilmington; there was no daily paper, no 
rail connection between the east and west, nor were there any 
great state charities. But all of this has been changed. That 
North Carolina, after bearing the chief share of one side of a 
great war, now stands in the very forefront of the southern 
>tates, is largely due to the exertions and capacity of a few pro- 
gressive men of former years, who aroused the State from 
lethargy, reversed the policy that had obtained, infused into her 
counsels their own daring, progressive spirit and laid the founda- 
tion on which we have since built and are still building. The obli- 
gations of posterity to this class of our forefathers are incal- 
culable. Perhaps Governor Morehead stands first among them 
all, but not the least by far was Dr. William Rainey Holt. They 
were the men who, while not undervaluing the lawyers and jurists 
who have adorned the annals of the State, saw the need of foster- 
ing other talents before the Commonwealth could become really 

Dr. Holt was, like Governor Morehead, thoroughly enlisted in 


securing railroad advantages for the western part of the State. 
On the charter of the North Carolina Railroad, formulated by Mr. 
W. S. Ashe of Wilmington, together they worked with enthusiasm 
to accomplish its construction. They had been schoolboys to- 
gether, classmates at Chapel Hill, firm friends through all the 
years, and now when this great enterprise of internal improve- 
ments appealed to their patriotism, together they worked zealously 
and enthusiastically to successfully accomplish it. It was the con- 
summation of Dr. Caldwell's dream of a state road from the sea- 
board to the mountains. 

Similarly Dr. Holt's sympathies were enlisted in the manufac- 
turing enterprises of his brother, Edwin M. Holt, of the elder 
Fries and the other pioneers in that department of industry ; and 
he contributed much to that quickened conscience which aroused 
the State to discharge its duties toward its ignorant and afflicted 
citizens, culminating in a hospital for the insane and in the 
common school system which have since been developed into our 
great state charities and admirable system of public instruction. 
It was men like him, far ahead of their own generation, whose 
constant striving put North Carolina in this forefront of the 
present day — men whose good works entitle them to the grateful 
remembrance of posterity. 

In politics Dr. Holt affiliated with the Democratic party, and 
when the sectional struggle became acute he was a pronounced 
secessionist. But this did not disturb his associations with his 
friends, or his close association with his brother, Edwin M. Holt, 
Governor Morehead, and others who were decidedly conservative 
in their views. It was somewhat strange : he a secessionist. Dem- 
ocrat, high churchman, and his two intimate friends Whigs, 
Presbyterians, and with a different attitude toward the exciting is- 
sues of the day. After the war nothing could be more pathetic than 
the intercourse between Dr. Holt and his life-long friend, Gover- 
nor Morehead ; their hair whitened not merely by age but by the 
deplorable calamities that had befallen them — their broken frames 
bowed with their advancing years. One day a message came, 
and Dr. Holt hastened to Greensboro to the home of his friend 


to minister to him in his last illness. Dr. Holt advised a visit to 
the Virginia Springs for a change and for treatment. The fare- 
wells to the family were spoken, and Governor Morehead's face 
lighted up with its last sparkle and affectionate smile. Dr. 
Holt accompanied him and remained with him. A specialist had 
been called in, but it was to his old friend the governor turned, 
speaking to him his last words. Two weeks after the departure, 
Governor Morehead died at Rock Bridge Alum Springs. 

The home life of Dr. Holt was especially notable. There he 
lived in a delightful atmosphere. His residence on the highway 
from Salisbury to Greensboro was often visited by many of the 
first men and most charming women of the Old South. One 
recalls with kind recollections its gracious master, patriarchal in 
appearance, moving with dignity, solicitous above all for the 
comfort and pleasure of his guests. And this, too, after the war 
had desolated his hearth and wasted his fields. He was of uncon- 
querable will and intrepid in his dealings with men, but withal 
kindly and courteous. Two of his sons returned not from the 
war, and his family bereavements bore hard upon him. But he 
met the new conditions after the storms of the war period with 
resolution, held together the servants on his model farm of Lin- 
wood, and without regard to weather continued to give personal 
direction. Exposure brought on rheumatism, from which he 
suffered until his death, October 3, 1868. 

Mrs. Holt survived him. She had been a worthy companion 
to so strong a character as her husband. One who had the 
pleasure of knowing her well recalls her nice observance of all the 
requirements of hospitality, her splendid command at home, her 
interesting acquaintance with the people in books, her loyal alle- 
giance to family ties, her unruffled Christian faith and spirit which 
thought no evil. Truly she was a fine type of the matron one 
loves to picture as inseparably connected with the civilization of 
the southern states in those years which have become known as 
the golden period of southern life. Mrs. Holt survived her hus- 
band many years, continuing her residence in the old home at 
Lexington, Davidson County, endeared by so many associations. 
Around that ancestral residence in what was then a quiet village 


cluster tender recollections from the many guests who have shared 
its princely hospitality. Beautiful pictures of the lovely old place 
come back at memory's bidding : its fine elms and maples ; its slop- 
ing lawn bordered with box ; the large vegetable garden, the hot- 
houses and the well-kept flower beds ; the variety of fruit-bearing 
trees, including the orange and the lemon, which required such 
zealous care and of which Mrs. Holt was justly proud; the dim, 
cool parlors and the well-trained servants, who were raised on the 
place and who loved it to the extent that many refused to leave it 
at the close of the war — and she the presiding genius of the whole, 
the lady of the house, whose smile charmed you in its welcome and 
whose slight deafness gave an added interest to conversation as 
she seemed to catch one's meaning from his manner. What a 
type of all that is prized in womanhood! To retiu'n from the 
matron to the man, it is to be said in conclusion that North Caro- 
linians need look no higher for models in conduct and character 
than are found in the lives of men of their own State — ^men like 
William Rainey Holt and those of his stamp. Chivalrous, high- 
toned gentlemen, patricians of the South and of the old order of 
things. "Intolerant at times, perhaps, of other people's opinions 
he may have been, but this arose because of his own clear concep- 
tion and convictions" — it is in these words that a kinsman de- 
scribes Dr. Holt : intolerant, because clearly desceming the right 
he could have no patience with any compromise of truth and 

In person Dr. Holt would have been remarked in a multitude. 
His height was full six feet; and well proportioned, his bearing 
erect, his manner knightly and his presence impressive. In poli- 
tics he was a Democrat of the Calhoun school. He was an ad- 
herent of the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which for many 
years he was a vestryman ; he found consolation for every adver- 
sity of life in the noble beauty of its service, and he died in full 
communion with its Head. 

"And thus he bore without abuse 
The grand old name of gentleman." 

IV. S. Pearson. 


gDWIN MICHAEL HOLT was born January 
, 14, 1807, in Orange, now Alamance County, 
1 N. C. He was the grandson of Captain Michael 
) Holt (2d) of Little Alamance, a man of much 
* prominence during the years immediately pre- 
j ceding and following the Revolutionary war, 
and the son of Michael Holt (3d), a prosperous fanner, mechanic 
and merchant who lived one mile south of Great Alamance Creek, 
on the Salisbury and Hillsboro road, where Edwin was bom. 
Some account has been given of Michael Holt (3d) in the sketch 
of his father, Michael Holt (2d). Edwin's mother was Rachel 
Ratney, a woman of queenly beauty coupled with strong common 
sense, the daughter of a prominent minister of the Christian 
Church, Benjamin Rainey and his wife Nancy, and the grand- 
daughter of William and Mary Rainey. 

Edwin worked on the farm in the summer and attended the 
district schools during the winter. From the routine of farm 
work and out-door life he developed robust health and the 
ability to work steadily at tasks, no matter how difficult, until 
they were finished. From the neighboring schools he obtained a 
fair English education, the ability to write a good hand and to 
keep books by the simple processes of that time. In addition 
to his farm work he spent much time in his father's shops at- 
tached to the farm, developing his naturally fine mechanical tal- 


ent, which had been characteristic of the Holts for several 

At the early age of twenty-one years, on Tuesday evening, Sep- 
tember 30, 1828, Edwin M. Holt chose his consort for life in the 
person of Emily Parish, the daughter of a prosperous farmer of 
Chatham County, N. C. She was descended from the Parish and 
Banks families of Virginia, members of which were distinguished 
in the political and civic life of that Commonwealth. To his union 
with this gentle, patient, energetic, discreet, and cultiwed woman, 
Mr. Holt attributed much of his success in life. After his mar- 
riage he began his business career by running a small farm and 
store near his father's home, conducting this business successfully 
in a moderate way until 1836. 

But this kind of life did not fill the measure of Edwin M. Holt's 
ambition. Nature had endowed him and training had fitted him 
to win success and fortune in new and broader fields, to become 
a pioneer captain of industry, to open a new field in his native 
State for the investment of capital and for the conversion of our 
raw material into manufactured products, and to pave the way 
for a greater development of the State's material resources than 
his fathers had ever dreamed. While he was engaged with his 
store and farm he did not allow the happenings and movements 
of the outer world to pass unnoticed. He was a deep thinker, 
a clear and logical reasoner and was quick to see cause and effect 
in political, sociological and economic conditions in this coun- 
try. He became impressed with the fact that the cotton plant 
brought wealth to whomsoever it touched, that the mill owner 
of England and of New England, the merchant of London and 
of New York had grown rich through trade in a staple which 
was raised in abundance at his own door. To him it seemed 
a geographical and economic inconsistency and perversity that 
this staple should be carried thousands of miles from the place 
of its growth to be made into cloth, much of which was to 
be brought back and used to clothe the very people who 
had produced it ; and that the southern planter should be content 
with having to do with only the first or initial stage of the cotton 


industry; while all the possibilities of manufacture and the in- 
vasion with its products of the marts of trade throughout the 
world lay unnoticed before him. He realized that if the raw 
cotton could be manufactured into goods in the South, the south- 
em mill would have the immense advantages of freight, cheap 
power from the streams of the uplands, raw material at its very 
doors and abundant and reliable labor which, although unskilled, 
needed only the opportunity to become as efficient as the New Eng- 
lander. To sum up, he foresaw that not Manchester, not New 
England, but the South was to control the cotton industry of the 
world. Geography and climatic conditions had ordained it. The 
writer feels that he cannot serve the purpose of biographical his- 
tory in North Carolina better than by telling the story of the 
beginning of his life work in the graphic words of Edwin M. 
Holt's distinguished and lamented son. Governor Thomas M. 

"About the year 1836 there was in Greensboro, N. C, a Mr. Henry 

Humphries who was engaged in running a small cotton mill at that place 

by steam. Following the natural inclination of his mind for mechanical 

pursuits, my father made it convenient to visit Greensboro often, and as 

often as he went there he always made it his business and pleasure to call 

on Mr. Humphries. The two soon became good friends. The more my 

father saw of the workings of Mr. Humphries' mill, the more convinced 

he became that his own ideas were correct. Some time about the year 

1836 he mentioned the matter to his father, Michael Holt, hoping that the 

latter would approve of his plans, as at that time he owned a grist mill 

on Great Alamance Creek about one mile from his home, the water power 

of the creek being sufficient to run both the grist mill and a small cotton 

iactory. He reasoned that if his father would join him in the enterprise 

and erect the factory on his own site on the Alamance, success would be 

assured. But his father, a very cautious and conservative man, bitterly 

opposed the scheme and did all that he could to dissuade his son from 

embarking in the enterprise. Not discouraged by this disappointment, he 

next proposed to his brother-in-law, William A. Carrigan, to join him. 

T^e latter considered the matter a long time, not being able to make up 

hi^ mind as to what he would do. Finally, without waiting for his brother- 

■^■•aw's an-^wcr, he went to Paterson, N. J., and gave the order for the 

""•achincry, not then knowing where he would locate his mill. On his 

f^^urn from Paterson he stopped at Philadelphia, where he met the 



late Chief Justice Thomas Ruffin. Judge Ruffin at that time owned a 
water-power and grist mill on Haw River, the place now being known as 
Swepsonville, and he asked my father where he expected to locate his mill 
My father replied that he wanted to put it at his father's mill site on 
Alamance Creek, but that the old gentleman was so much opposed to it 
that he might not allow it. Thereupon Judge Ruffin said that he did not 
wish to interfere in any way with any arrangements between him and his 
father, but if the latter held out in his opposition, he would be glad to 
have him locate his mill at his site on Haw River, that he would be glad 
to form a partnership with him if he wished a partner, and that if he did 
not wish a partner, but wanted to borrow money, he would lend him as 
much as he wanted. When my father returned home and told his father 
of the conversation with Judge Ruffin, a man in whom both had unbounded 
confidence, and he saw that my father was determined to build a cotton 
factory, he proposed to let him have his water power on Alamance Creek 
and to become his partner in the enterprise. The latter part of the prop- 
osition was declined on account of his having previously told his father 
that he would not involve him for a cent. The conversation with Judge 
Ruffin was then repeated to his brother-in-law, William A. Carrigan, who 
consented to enter into the partnership and join in the undertaking. They 
bought the water power on Great Alamance Creek from my grandfather at 
a nominal price, put up the necessary buildings and started the factory 
during the panic of 1837. The name of the firm was Holt & Carrigan, and 
they continued to do business successfully from the start under this name 
until 185 1. About this time Mr. Carrigan's wife died, leaving five sons. 
Two of them had just graduated from the University of North Carolina, 
and concluding to go to the State of Arkansas, their father decided to go 
with them; so he sold his interest in the business to my father. In the 
year 1853 there came to the mill a Frenchman who was a dyer. He pro- 
posed to teach father how to color cotton yarn for the sum of $100 
and his board. Father accepted his proposition and immediately 
set to work with such appliances as they could scrape up. There was an 
eighty-gallon copper boiler which my grandfather had used to boil po- 
tatoes and turnips for his hogs and a large cast-iron wash pot, which hap- 
pened to be in the store on sale at that time. With these implements was 
done the first dyeing south of the Potomac River for power looms. As 
speedily as possible a dye house was built and the necessary utensils for 
dyeing acquired. He then put in some four-box looms and commenced . 
the manufacture of the class of goods then and now known as 'Alamance — 
Plaids.' Up to that time there had never been a yard of plaid or colored^ 
cotton goods woven on a power loom south of the Potomac River. When^ 
Holt & Carrigan started their factory they began with 528 spindles, 
few years later sixteen looms were added. In 1861 such had been ihi 


growth of the business that there were in operation 1200 spindles and 96 
looms, and to run these and the grist mill and saw mill exhausted all the 
power of the Great Alamance Creek on which they were located. My 
^her trained all of his sons in the manufacturing business, and as we 
grew up we branched out for ourselves and built other mills; but the 
plaid business of the Holt family and I might add of the South, had its 
beginning at this little mill on the banks of the Alamance with its little 
copper kettle and an ordinary wash pot. I am glad to be able to state 
that my grandfather, Michael Holt, who was so bitterly opposed to the 
inaoguration of the enterprise and from whom my father never would 
borrow a cent or permit the indorsement of paper, lived to see and re- 
joice in the success of the enterprise. The mill ran twelve hours a day. 
I was only six years old when the mill started, and well do I remember sit- 
ting np with my mother waiting for my father to come home at night 
In the winter time the mill would stop at seven o'clock p.m. and thereafter 
my father would remain in the building for half an hour to see that all 
of the lamps were out and that the stoves were in such a condition that 
there would be no danger from fire, and then he would ride one mile and 
a quarter to his home. In the morning he would eat his breakfast by candle 
light and be at the mill at six-thirty o'clock to start the machinery going. 
He kept this habit up for many years. 

"I attribute the success which has crowned the efforts of his sons in the 
manufacturing of cotton goods to the early training and business methods 
imparted to them in boyhood by their father, Edwin M. Holt." 

Such is the story of the founding of the Holt cotton mill busi- 
ness in North Carolina. Under the general guidance and counsel 
of Edwin M. Holt and with his financial aid, all of his sons built 
cotton mills before his death, and it is a tribute to his prudent, 
ccnservative, and sagacious training that not one of these enter- 
l>rises has failed. 

To show something of the growth of the cotton manufacturing 

business among his sons and grandsons, from the little mill on 

Alamance Creek with its 528 spindles and 16 four-box looms 

Have grown the mills of the Holt family in Alamance and else- 

'^'here in North Carolina, aggregating 161,218 spindles and 6,144 

^ooms, all of which are making colored cotton goods. Truly "He 

l>uilded better than he knew." 

During the war between the States, while opposed at the be- 
ginning to secession, he furnished three sons who fought gallantly 


for the lost cause. In 1866 he retired from the active manage- 
ment of the Alamance mill and gave it over to his sons, James H., 
William E., L. Banks, and his son-in-law, James N. Williamson, 
reserving a one-fifth interest for his younger son, Lawrence S., 
until his majority. 

While conducting his cotton mill he still found time to do many 
other things for the progress and betterment of his county and 
State. He never accepted any political office with the exception 
of associate judge of tjie county court, which office he held for 
many years, dispensing justice wisely and impartially to all who 
came before him. He was an enthusiastic advocate of internal 
improvements, and in the dark days after General Lee's surrender, 
when the treasury of the State was without funds, contributed 
generously of his means for the maintenance of the North Caro- 
lina Railroad, on one occasion loaning this road $70,000 without 
security to enable them to pay off their mechanics in the shops 
and to meet other pressing obligations. Nor was this the only 
time he came to their rescue financially. He was a director and 
large stockholder in this road and had great faith and confidence 
in its ultimate success. He established with his sons the Com- 
mercial National Bank of Charlotte, N. C, and was largely inter- 
ested in many other enterprises and institutions. It should be 
said of him that his fortune, at his death probably the largest in 
the State, was all acquired by means of honest and legitimate 
effort and not through any manipulation or speculation. 

Here might be mentioned his favorite mottoes, quoted often to 
his sons, practised in his own life and that of his sons and grand- 
sons after him, and one of the secrets of his remarkable success 
and theirs. One was, "You will have your good years and your 
bad years; stick to business." Another was, "Put your profits 
into your business." Homely maxims, but how wise ! 

To Edwin M. Holt and Emily Parish Holt were born ten chil- 
dren: Alfred Augustus, Thomas Michael, James Henry, Alex- 
ander, Frances Ann (Mrs. John L. Williamson), William Edwin, 
Lynn Banks, Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. James N. Williamson), Emily 
Virginia (Mrs. J. W. White), and Lawrence Shackleford. De- 


votion to his wife and children nerved his arm for the tasks of a 
long and arduous life. It was his love of his children and his 
thought of them first and always, that made his life one long- 
sustained sacrifice, that was the secret of his untiring zeal and 
interest in his business enterprises. Under this stimulus toil 
ceased to be a task, and labor became a sweet companion. 

His ideas were patriarchal. He thought families should hold 
together, build up mutual interests and be true to one another. 
Nor was this a Utopian dream of Edwin M. Holt. It was a con- 
viction bom of his experience and observation of human life. It 
was also an inheritance. It had been the idea of his father, 
Michael Holt, it was the idea of his grandfather. Captain Michael 
Holt. It was the idea of his maternal ancestry, the Raineys. If 
he had not been strengthened by his own experience and observa- 
tion, he would still have probably listened to the teaching of his 
fathers. He had seen members of families going out in divergent 
directions from the old homestead, the title to estates disappear 
and the ties of affection weaken, family pride lost and mutual aid 
and influence impossible. He believed "In union there is 
strength," hence it was his idea that his children should settle 
around him, and that they should do so in honor and in charge of 
successful business enterprises. 

Great as Edwin M. Holt's life was as a pioneer in a branch of 
our State's material development which is playing so important a 
part in its growth and prosperity to-day, he was greater as a man. 
Back of the power to plan and project successful enterprises, to 
build up his own fortunes and to make his name a household word 
in homes where fathers recount the great deeds of great men in 
civic life, was Edwin M. Holt, the man. He was modest, unas- 
suming, silent, ofttimes to a remarkable degree, seeking success 
not for its own sake, but for his children's and for humanity's, 
turning a deaf ear to appeals from admiring friends and neighbors 
to allow his name to go before the people for public office. But 
there slumbered the irresistible power of resolute, moral manhood 
behind his quiet face; and he would have been at ease, aye, and 
welcome, in the society, not only of the world's greatest men in 


1)T ' 



•'■ . L'_-*. ox AND 

. » . iV F.-^l W DA'i lONB 


Zebulon B. Vance, Alfred M. Waddell, Thomas Settle, W. A. 
Moore, W. C. Kerr, Thomas C. Fuller, and R. H. Battle. And 
since "the boy is father to the man," it is certain that his associa- 
tion with these rare spirits had much to do with the shaping of 
his future life. 

The will of his father, however, concurring with the son's pref- 
erence for a business career, Mr. Holt remained at the University 
only a year. In 1850 he went to Philadelphia and took a position 
in a large dry goods store, in order to become proficient in busi- 
ness. Here he speedily made himself master of every department, 
becoming an accurate and expert bookkeeper and an accomplished 
salesman, and acquiring that general knowledge of business rules 
which enabled him to achieve success in every enterprise in which 
he embarked in after life. Returning from Philadelphia in 185 1, 
he engaged with his father in conducting the business of the old 
Alamance Cotton Mills, the first cotton mill built in Alamance 

While in business at Alamance he was happily married to Miss 
Louisa Moore, who, with two sons and three daughters, survived 
to mourn his death. 

In early life the conspicuous ability and transparent honesty of 
"Tom Holt," as he was familiarly called, marked him as a man 
eminently fitted to discharge public trust. As magistrate and as 
county commissioner, he was for years a leading spirit in develop- 
ing his native county. In 1876 he was elected state senator, 
which office he held for two years. In 1882 he was elected to a 
i>e2Lt in the house of representatives, and was re-elected in 1884 
and again in 1886. In 1884 he was elected speaker of the house, 
and his presidency of that honorable body was characterized by 
such ability, zeal, and impartiality as to win the commendation of 
his fellow representatives without distinction of party, and to gain 
for him an enviable reputation in the State at large. 

In 1888 he was elected lieutenant-governor of North Carolina, 
having the honor in this, as in every political contest in which he 
was engaged, to receive the largest number of votes given any man 
on the ticket. At the death of Governor Fowle, he became gov- 


ernor of North Carolina, and fulfilled most ably the duties of that 
office until the expiration of his term in 1893. 

Before the expiration of his term as governor, the hand of in- 
sidious and fatal disease had been laid upon him, and the severe 
strain of official responsibility told upon his already impaired 
vitality. The remaining years of his life were spent in attending, 
as far as his failing strength permitted, to his large and varied 
business interests. His disease baffled the skill of his physicians, 
and gained such headway that in January, 1896, it was seen that 
the end was near. At last acute pneumonia set in, and after a 
few days of intense suffering, he passed away, April 11, 1896. 

Governor Holt was a man of large mold; strong in brain, in 
body, and in soul. The son of a wise father, he was trained 
to believe in the dignity and necessity of labor. 

In his early manhood he took a subordinate position in a store 
to fit himself for the management of business enterprises. When 
he became the owner of a cotton mill, he could say with honest 
pride that he knew how to do every sort of work required in the 
establishment, from the spinning and dyeing of the yam to the 
finishing and packing of the cloth. It is not to be wondered at 
that such a man, beginning with a moderate competence, should 
live to amass a large fortune. As his business grew, he retained 
his grasp on every department, looked into every detail, and by 
reason of his rare energy, practical foresight and prompt decision 
made failure impossible. In all his career he was distinguished 
for his unbending integrity. He scorned to earn a dishonest dol- 
lar and loathed the low arts and the knavish cunning of the spec- 
ulator and the stock gambler. 

He was a model master. Inflexible in his requirements, com- 
pelling industry and painstaking care on the part of servants and 
employees, he was yet kind, sympathetic, and generous in his deal- 
ings with all. He was ever ready to aid the well deserving, and 
by every means sought to stimulate in them the virtues of self-re- 
spect, thrift, honesty, industry, and self-reliance. When times of 
business depression came, he felt himself bound, at whatever risk, 
to provide employment for those who were looking to him for 


their daily bread ; and while other mills were shut down, the Haw 
River mills were running on full time, with the aid when necessary 
of borrowed capital. And a strike was never so much as pro- 
posed among the faithful people who served him. 

In public life Thomas M. Holt was a tower of strength to his 
party and to the State. From the time when he began to serve 
the public as a county magistrate till he retired from the guberna- 
torial chair, crowned with the reverence and admiration of the 
truest and noblest men in our great commonwealth, he was a wise 
and faithful officer. He loved his country and his people, and his 
public policy was shaped with one controlling aim : to secure the 
greatest good to the greatest number. During his long legislative 
career as senator, as representative, as speaker of the house, and 
as lieutenant-governor, he ranked among the choice and leading 
spirits of our General Assembly, and made his influence felt for 
good in the decision of every question of importance that came 
before that honorable body. 

Among the important measures which he largely aided in secur- 
ing may be mentioned the establishment in 1876 of the new sys- 
tem of county government; the building of the Western North 
Carolina and of the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley railroads; the 
establishment of the Department of Agriculture ; also the inaugu- 
ration of a scheme which has resulted in the establishment of 
three great industrial schools, of which our commonwealth is 
justly proud — namely : the Agricultural and Mechanical College at 
Raleigh, and the two state colleges at Greensboro. ' He gave his 
influence to increase appropriations for the common schools of 
the State, to the University, to the state hospitals at Morganton, 
Raleigh and Goldsboro, and to the Orphans' Home at Oxford; 
and he advocated the institution for the deaf mutes established at 

But aside from his services in behalf of these great public in- 
terests, perhaps the chief title of Governor Holt to the grateful 
esteem of his fellow-citizens rests upon his valuable services ren- 
dered in effecting the compromise of the state debt. A part of 
that debt was secured by a lien on the State's interest in the North 


Carolina Railroad and the State's interest was in the hands of 
the Federal court. It seemed a certainty that the lien was to be 
enforced, and this most valuable property of the State would be 
sacrificed. Just at this juncture Colonel Holt, with a few in- 
fluential friends, voluntarily undertook a 'journey north to see the 
parties owning the bonds secured by the lien. After all negotia- 
tions had apparently failed, these gentlemen, led by Colonel Holt, 
succeeded, by reason of their influence in business circles, in com- 
promising the debt, thus saving to the State property valued at 
more than $5,000,000. 

When in the maturity of his powers. Colonel Holt was called 
upon to take the chair of state made vacant by the death of the 
gifted and lamented Governor Fowle, and he brought to that high 
office the capacity for mastering details, a painstaking patience, 
a practical wisdom, a faultless devotion to principle and a wealth 
of useful knowledge that made him eminently fit for the place. 

Nor was it only in political life that Thomas M. Holt showed 
himself a patriot. He desired to see the sons of North Carolina 
educated to glory in the heroic memories of the past, and it is 
worthy of mention that the noble monument to and statue of 
Major Joseph Winston, which adorns the Guilford Battle Ground, 
was his individual gift. Indeed, his whole life bore evidence to 
the truth of the statement in the speech which he sent to be read 
at the presentation of the statue to the Company, July 4, 1895: 

"If I know my heart, I desire no other earthly lot than to be able to add 
my mite to the furtherance of the happiness of the whole people and the 
glory of North Carolina." 

Thomas M. Holt was a manly man. Self-reliance, decision of 
character, independence of spirit, a virile courage that ever kept 
him true to his convictions ; a transparent candor that led him to 
speak whenever it was needful for him to raise his voice in de- 
fense of the right or in denunciation of wrong ; a loyalty to friend- 
ship and truth that never wavered; these were the qualities that 
won him universal respect and bound his friends to him as with 
hooks of steel. But while he was manly, he was na mere man of 


iron or granite. He was indeed stern and unyielding when it be- 
hooved him to show a stern front ; but at the same time alike in 
public and private life he was genial, gentle, and sympathetic. 

In the hallowed relations of home life, he was devoted and al- 
together admirable. He was a Christian from conviction, and 
early in his manhood identified himself with the Presbyterian 
church at Graham, of which he was for many years a faithful 
ruling elder. The sublime faith in which he wa.s nurtured gave 
him his strength in living and his comfort in his dying hour. 

Unostentatious in his gifts for charitable purposes, he was able 
to comfort himself in his affiictions by recalling, as did Job, his 
efforts to do good. He could say : "I was a father to the poor" ; 
and among the tributes to his virtues that were spoken by those 
who knew him, none were more touching and significant than the 
testimony uttered through their tears by the hundreds who were 
his employees: "He was a father to us all." His was a practical 

In the last days of his life he was often despondent. But it was 
not for himself that he feared. His was rather the despondency 
of the Christian patriot. Political conditions were unsettled, new 
alignments were taking place, and dark portents loomed above 
the political horizon. But amid all anxieties for the future of 
his country, he found solace in his cherished faith that God rules 
the world. 

Honored in life, he was honored in his burial as few men in our 
State have been honored. The presence of the governor of 
the State with his staff, of representatives of the faculty 
of the University of North Carolina; of sixteen ministers of the 
gospel, representing seven denominations; of many distinguished 
citizens from distant parts of the State ; of a vast throng gathered 
from town and country, from far and wide, and representing 
tvery class of citizenship — all this, together with the brooding 
sadness, silent and tearful, of that great multitude, were indica- 
tions of the esteem in which he was held by the people whom he 
loved and for whom he labored. IVilliatn P. McCorkle. 






till late in the year 1864, when he was commissioned captain by 
Governor Z. B. Vance and ordered to report at Fayetteville, N. C, 
and to take the position of commandant of the Military Academy 
located at that place. In this position he remained till the close 
of the war. Mr. Holt's career as a member of the Confederate 
army was characteristic of his whole life. He did his whole 
duty, regardless of his own personal preference in the matter. 
When he was ordered to Fayetteville, his colonel — Lamb^spoke 
of the fact that he was being taken from what promised soon to 
to be scenes of excitement and sympathized with him. The reply 
was characteristic of the man and worthy of a soldier : '*Colonel, 
I regret to leave, but you know I have always obeyed orders." 
The colonel's reply was deserved : "That is true, Holt, you have 
been one of the most dutiful and competent soldiers in my com- 

After the war, Mr. Holt returned to Alamance County and, 
with his brothers and under the guidance of his father, was active 
in the management of the old Alamance Cotton Mills. Then, with 
the desire to enlarge his field of operations and with that rare 
business judgment characteristic of his family, Mr. Holt was in- 
strumental in procuring the purchase, by himself and others of his 
family, of the site known as the Carolina Cotton Mills. In 1867 
the Carolina Mills were begun, when mill building was almost un- 
known and everything had to be made by hand. Major J. W. 
Wilson made the survey for the water power and Mr. Holt gave 
his entire time and attention to supervising its construction and 
equipment. This was one of the most successful mills in the 
South and one of the very foundation stones of the future Holt 
family. This he managed successfully until his death, under the 
firm name of J. H. & W. E. Holt & Co. This mill was operated 
without any architectural change whatever until 1904, showing 
that he not only ''builded wisely but well." 

In 1879 he bought the mill site just above the Carolina Mills, 
and with his brother, W. E. Holt, built the Glencoe Mills. This 
mill was also under his active and successful management and 
control for years. 


He had the wisdom to become, in a large measure, his own 
executor by setting up his sons in business while he lived to give 
them his aid and counsel — ^all of whom owned and conducted cot- 
ton mills: Walter L. Holt, president of the Holt-Morgan, 
Holt-Williamson, and Lakewood Mills ; E. C. Holt, of the Elmira 
and Delgado Mills ; Samuel M. Holt, of the Lakeside Mills ; James 
H. Holt, Jr., of the Windsor Mills ; Robert L. Holt, of the Glen- 
coe Mills ; W. L Holt, of the Lakeside Mills, and Ernest A. Holt, 
of the Elmira Mills. The success attendant upon the operations 
of these manufacturing plants attests the business acumen and 
never-flagging industry of Mr. Holt. 

Mr. Holt never forgot his early training and fondness for the 
banking business and devoted his spare time in assisting in up- 
building the Commercial National Bank of Charlotte, in which he 
was a director and chairman of the examining board, and his 
superior qualifications contributed largely to the wonderful suc- 
cess of that institution. 

Mr. Holt not only adopted honesty as a policy, but to him it was 
a very basic principle, never to be swerved from even by so much 
as a hair's breadth. His life and its success in the business world 
is, as it should be, a sermon and an inspiration not only to his 
sons, but to all young men, on honesty, clean living, and right 

On January 15, 1856, Mr. Holt was married to Laura Cameron 
Moore, of Caswell County. The married life of these two was 
ideal and the home they built and the home life they led was 
what a home and home life should truly be. As a result of this 
union there were born the following children, who still survive: 
Walter L. Holt, of Fayetteville ; Edwin C. Holt, of Wilmington ; 
Samuel M. Holt, of Blossom, Texas ; James H. Holt, Robert L. 
Holt, and William L Holt, of Burlington; Ernest A. Holt, of 
Blossom, Texas, and Daisy L., now the wife of Walter G. Green, 
of Charleston, S. C. 

In this brief sketch it is impossible to speak in detail of the 
many business institutions and enterprises with which Mr. Holt 
was connected, but whatever was for the building up and develop- 


meiit of his State, section, and county, that he was interested m 
and to (hat he lent his aid and gave counsel and support. He 
prospered, and with his own he brought prosperity to others and 
developed the resources of his section. 

Early in life Mr. Holt connected himself with the Presbyterian 
church in Graham, and while living there was made an elder 
in that church and later became an elder and one of the most 
active members of the Presbyterian church in Burlington. 

In politics Mr. Holt was a Democrat and he was always one of 
the most effective workers in his party, and many times he would 
have been selected by his party for office if he would but have 
consented. Mr. Holt had that charity which vaunteth not itself. 
One who has lived here, as the writer has, for many years, among 
the people with whom he worked, hears many times, from grateful 
recipients, of the charity dispensed by this good man tliat would 
never have been known save for this telling by those who received. 
Mr. Holt himself never spoke of these acts, and so far as sign 
from him was concerned, when they were done, they were for- 
gotten and no obligations were incurred. 

It would \x wrong to close this sketch without speaking of Mr. 
Holt's universal friendliness. It seemed that people, and par- 
ticularly young men, instinctively saw in him a friend. He never 
failed them, and in the hearts of those who knew him there will 
be found only a spirit of approbation when it is said that there 
could be truly carved on the stone that marks his last resting place 
these words : 

"An honest man here lies at rest, 
As ere God with his Image blest. 
The friend of man, the friend of truth. 
The friend of age and guide of youth. 
Few hearts like his with virtue warmed, 
Few heads with knowledge were so informed. 
If there is another world, he lives in bliss; 
If there is none, he made the best of this." 

E. S. Parker. 


SILLIAM EDWIN HOLT was born in Ala- 
f mance County, N. C, November i, 1839, at his 
' father's home, Locust Grove. His father was 
' Edwin M. Holt, whose biography has been 
\ printed elsewhere, and his mother Emily Farish 
£ Holt. He took his preparatory course of study 
under the celebrated Dr. Wilson, a teacher who left the impress of 
his striking personality to a remarkable degree upon hun- 
dreds of those who have contributed to the educational and 
material awakening of North Carolina in the last half century. 
In 1855 he entered the University of the State at Chapel Hill, re- 
maining there two years, completing a special course of study, but 
not graduating. While there he took a high stand as a student 
and as a man, and left an impress which was an earnest of his 
future success. On returning home from the University he be- 
came general manager of the Alamance Cotton Mills, for which 
his long training in boyhod under his father's painstaking in- 
struction had peculiarly fitted him. In this capacity he soon 
manifested such rare business sagacity and superior executive abil- 
ity, that he became an important factor in its growth and develop' 
ment up to the time of the war. 

In 1861, true to the patriotic instincts of his family, he entered 
the Confederate service in the Sixth North Carolina regiment. 
He was, however, not permitted to remain with his regiment, as 


Governor Ellis thought he could serve his State better in another 
capacity. So he ordered him to Alamance, to use his gifts of 
training and experience in manufacturing cotton goods for the 
Confederate army. He obeyed this summons, again took charge 
of the Alamance Mills, worked there assiduously till the close of 
the war, turning over one-half of ail the goods manufactured to 
the Confederate Government. The failure of the Southern Con- 
federacy entailed a loss of many thousands of dollars to this mill, 
as much of the product was sold on a credit, and under the 
changed condition of things, could never be collected. Notwith- 
standing the losses and general bankruptcy caused by the war, 
young Holt, under the inspiration of the presence and directive 
energy of a wise and far-seeing father, whose stock advice to his 
boys was, "You will have your good years and your bad years ; 
stick to business," began life anew under the chaotic conditions 
that followed the war, at the same mill, and was admitted as a 
partner in it in 1867. In 1871 the Alamance Mills were destroyed 
by fire. They were rebuilt the same year under the supervision 
of Mr. Holt. During these years was the opportunity of the cot- 
ton mill business, and Edwin Michael Holt and his sons saw it and 
seized it. In 1868 the Holt brothers built the Carolina Mills at 
Alamance, operating sixty looms and 3,000 spindles. In 1880 he 
and his brother James built the Glencoe Mills, with 185 looms, 
and 3,250 spindles. In 1886 he moved to Lexington and built the 
Wennonah Mills, which operate now 460 looms and 12,000 spin- 
dles. He is still sole proprietor of this mill, and it alone gives 
employment to more than 300 operatives. For some years this 
mill has been under the successful management of his son, Wil- 
liam Edwin Holt, Jr., who reunites in himself the blood of Wil- 
laim Rainey Holt and Edwin Michael Holt, brothers. In 1889 
he moved to Charlotte and became interested in Highland Park 
Mills No, I. He became president of these mills in 1895, At 
that time they contained 460 looms. Of these mills he was presi- 
dent until 1906, eleven years, during which time the one mill 
grew to three ; 460 looms to 2,335, and the number of the spindles 
to 46,000, all engaged in the manufacture of ginghams. He is 


now president of the Anchor Mills, Huntersville; is connected 
with the Henrietta Mills as a large stockholder ; and in the same 
way is interested in the Nokomis Mills, Lexington; Florence 
Mills, Forest City, N. C. ; Asheville Mills; Spray Mills, near 
Leaksville, N. C. ; and the Mineola Mills, Gibsonville, N. C. He 
is also interested in building the Francis Mills, Biscoe, N. C 
with 10,000 spindles. Thus it will be seen that his experience 
in the manufacture of cotton fabrics is second to that of 
none in the State. 

Nor has he confined his investments to cotton mills. He has 
invested liberally in many enterprises. He was formerly presi- 
dent and is now vice-president and a prominent stockholder in the 
Commercial National Bank, and is a stockholder in the First Na- 
tional Bank and the Merchants and Farmers' National Bank, 
Charlotte, N. C. ; the Bank of Lexington; the Southern Stock 
Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and the Underwriters' Fire In- 
surance Company, Greensboro, N. C. He is a director of the 
North Carolina Railroad. He owns a fine farm in Davidson 
County, and an estate of several hundred acres in Alamance 
County, near his ancestral home. And in the development 
of his adopted city, although a very busy man necessarily, he has 
never been too busy to lend a helping hand. 

On April 25, 1871, Mr. Holt led to the altar Amelia Lloyd, the 
beautiful and accomplished daughter of Dr. William Rainey Holt 
and Louisa Allen Hogan Holt, of Lexington, N. C. Dr. Holt 
was one of the brightest and most versatile men the State has pro- 
duced, and his life is sketched elsewhere. Louisa Hogan, his 
wife, was admirably suited to grace the home of such a man, and 
Mrs. William E. Holt inherited the brilliancy and strong common 
sense of her father, and the culture and graces of her mother and 
distinguished maternal ancestry. 

To this union have been bom one son and seven daughters : 

1. Qaudia (Mrs. Robert M. Oates, Jr.), children: William 
Holt Oates, Annie Pegram Oates. 

2. William Edwin Holt, Jr. He married Amanda Caldwell, 
April 5, 1905. 

3- Ethel (Mrs. Robert Cuthbert Vivien), married June 4, 1904; 
one child, Ethel Holt Vivien. 
4 and 5. Lora Francis and Lura Eugene, twins, died in infancy. 

6. Lois Amelia (Mrs. Robert L. Tate). 

7. Maud Farish. 

8. Emily Lonise. 

Mr. Holt has the traditional Holt physit]ue. He is five feet ten 
inches tall, weighs over. two hundred pounds, erect, clear brown 
«yes that look you through, genial and kindly in disposition, of few 
Tvords, as most men are who live in the realm of thought. He is 
popular with young men, especially his many nephews, with whom 
he is blessed. 

Wilham E. Holt is an earnest man, as all successful men must 
^x; and an honest man, as all truly noble men are of necessity. 
This honest earnestness and earnest honesty leads him to see the 
best side of humanity, and to appreciate the good in his race. 

Mr, Holt, like his father, the late Edwin M. Holt, is a quiet 
man. His words are few but to the point. The energies of his 
intellect have found development in the office rather than the 
fonim. The building of mills; the change of raw material into 
marketable fabrics ; the evolution of the modern splendid products 
as compared with the products of fifty years ago; the placing of 
material products of thousands of spindles and looms upon the 
most favorable markets; dealing with the complex problems of 
labor and labor organizations; village life with its ever-changing 
and ever-increasing development as regards sanitation, education, 
and religious training; these and a thousand other problems that 
with ever-varying conditions confront captains of industry daily 
for solution, cannot be solved in popular assemblies, or in marts 
of trade. They are for the private office ; and their successful 
solution is a tribute to the clear brain that thinks them out. And 
the man that can do this, and does do this, ranks alongside of the 
statesman and the scholar in mental power, and is a pubhc bene- 
factor. Such a man is Mr. Holt. Such men constitute the State. 
Martin H. Holt. 


LI- NC^X and 


he entered the military academy near Hillsboro, conducted by that 
accomplished teacher and admirable disciplinarian, Colonel C. C. 
Tew. In the meantime spare afternoons and vacations were spent 
working in his father's cotton mill. In this mill and under the 
i;uidance of his careful father, he learned the lessons of industry, 
frugality, and fidelity to duty, thus laying the cornerstone upon 
which his fame and his fortune have been so firmly and substan- 
tially built. 

Before Mr. Holt had comp ed his course at the Hillsboro 
Military Academy, there came call to arms in defense of his 
country and home. Animated by an ardent patriotism and well 
trained as a soldier, he did not I :, but fell into the ranks as a 

private in the Orange Guards, j Did company which on the first 
sound of war, the bombardmen of I«^ort Sumter, rushed forward 
to seize Fort Macon and hold for the State. Because of his 
proficiency in the drill, Mr. Ho t soon appointed drill master 
of the Sixth regiment, commanded Colonel Fisher, and accom- 
panied that regiment to Virginia and remained with it until after 
the battle of Manassas. 

On October 20, 1861, Mr. Holt was appointed second lieutenant 
and assigned to Company I of the Eighth regiment North Caro- 
lina state troops, commanded by Colonel Shaw and attached to 
Clingman's brigade ; and later he won his promotion to first lieu- 
tenant of that company. 

He was with his command in the battle of Roanoke Island, and 
with it at Charleston in the spring and summer of 1863, and par- 
ticipated in the defense of Battery Wagner. That experience, 
holding Battery Wagner during its protracted siege, was one of 
the most terrible ordeals to which any southern troops were sub- 
jected during the war. While all of the North Carolina troops 
did well, the Eighth North Carolina regiment particularly gained 
laurels by its intrepidity and endurance in those trying days, and 
Lieutenant Holt had his full share in the heroic work performed 
by his regiment. He was with his regiment in the brilliant vic- 
tory of the capture of Plymouth, where it suffered heavily ; and in 
the battle of Drewry's Bluflf, which saved Richmond, then threat- 


ened by Butler; and he was with Hoke at Cold Harbor when 
Grant's army lost 10,000 men in a few moments; and that gen- 
eral, utterly defeated in his plans, abandoned his boasted purpose 
to take Richmond "on that line if it took all summer," and then 
transferred his operations against Petersburg; but by a forced 
march Hoke's division, to which Lieutenant Holt belonged, 
reached Petersburg in time to hurl back the attacking columns and 
prevent the capture of that city. At Petersburg, however. Lieu- 
tenant Holt received a flesh wound in the face, and on his cheeks 
to-day he bears the scars of wounds, emblems of undaunted cour- 
age, and everlasting evidences that his face was toward the firing 
line of the enemy when he was stricken in the midst of the battle. 
After a short furlough, while his wound was being healed, he re- 
joined his regiment and marched on September 29th in command 
of his company to participate in the assault on Fort Harrison. 
His brigade led the assault ; and at the given signal rushed to the 

"As one man, the enemy flashed his defiance from a thousand guns; 
the flank attack miscarried; the supports failed to come up; the 
charging line melted away; the fort was reached but no farther. As 
many as were able, in the darkness of the night got back to our lines. 
The wounded and captured were taken to northern hospitals and 
northern prisons. The brigade felt the losses sustained in this assault 
the balance of the war. It could never afterward recruit up its de- 
pleted ranks. About a third of those in the charge were either killed 
or wounded. Among the wounded and captured were Captain William 
H. S. Burgwyn and First Lieutenant L. Banks Holt, commanding 
Company I, Eighth regiment. Lieutenant Holt was shot through the 
thigh and the bone fractured, entailing a long and painful recovery. 
He was confined at Point Lookout and Fort Delaware prisons until 
released in June, 1865." 

Such is the account that the historian of Clingman's brigade re- 
cords of this lamentable affair. No encomium would be too high 
in portraying the military conduct of Lieutenant Holt, who al- 
ways displayed Spartan courage. when shot and shell rained thick 
and furious, and who never faltered at a duty or in discharging 
any responsibility. He led his company in that terrific assault 


with all the intrepidity of a brave and devoted spirit — a. fine 
example of southern heroism. History can record his resolu- 
tion and bravery ; but who can portray the physical pain, the men- 
tal anguish of this brave young soldier, sorely wounded, his life 
hanging on a thread and he a captive among heartless enemies! 
Having utterly passed from the view of his friends, his fate un- 
known, he was mourned as one of the victims of his country's 
cause. But fortunately his robust constitution enabled him to 
survive his wounds, his sufferings, and his indescribable iiardships. 
The dreary winter passed and spring was gone, when at length, 
two months after Johnston had surrendered, he was on June 16, 
1865, released from Fort Delaware and allowed to turn his face 
homeward. He was sent to Philadelphia by the Federal Govern- 
ment with other released prisoners. From there he took the train 
for home. 

A vahant soldier, a steadfast defender of the homeland he so 
dearly loved, now that the flag of his country had gone down in 
disaster and was furled forever, like his immortal chieftain. Gen- 
eral Lee, and his revered commander, Robert F. Hoke, he turned 
his face to the future and addressed himself to tlie arts of peace. 
He quickly joined with those who were gathering up the shattered 
fragments of southern manhood to engage in the conflicts of a 
new industrial career. Inspiration then c.ime, not from the bat- 
tle-scarred flag, but from broken hearts and ruined homes, and 
a purpose to reunite the suffering Southland in the sisterhood of 
constitutional states, and to assuage the distresses which for four 
long years had been accumulating at the firesides of the southern 
people. Such were the emotions and purposes of the survivors 
of the great war; and notwithstanding the future seemed uncer- 
tain, the struggle almost hopeless, and the clouds that hung like 
a pall over the Southland were impenetrable, yet there was a rush 
to the plow handles, a double-quick to the workshop, and an on- 
ward march into field and factory by the brave spirits who had 
followed Lee and Jackson. Into the Alamance Cotton Mills went 
this intrepid soldier, who, leading his company on that eventful 
night, had fallen at the very entrenchments of Fort Harrison. 


The dinner pail now displaced the knapsack, the shuttle took the 
place of the army musket, and overalls were donned instead of 
Confederate gray. The venerable father was the new com- 
mander-in-chief; bread-winning, the new battle-cry. Adequate 
reward soon came as the result of incessant toil, competent man- 
agement and honorable dealing. The story in detail would be a 
long one — too long for this sketch, and yet it bristles with interest 
It quivers with individual efforts, and illustrates how rewards are 
earned by thorough discharge of daily duties. If told, it would 
reveal a current of strenuous work, a life of honorable dealing, 
a career of wonderful success — efforts that brought into play 
energy and activity which have created one of the richest fields of 
the South's great prosperity. 

The name and fame of L. Banks Holt and the intrinsic value 
of the products of his mills and of his farms have gone beyond the 
limits of the State and have entered into world commerce. Ex- 
tending over a large area in piedmont North Carolina, many 
thousands of humming spindles and busy looms, owned and 
operated by this family of Holts, are singing.the song of industrial 
activity and advancing progress. In a dozen or more of these 
mills the name of L. Banks Holt appears either as owner, director 
or stockholder. He is the sole owner and proprietor of the 
Oneida, at Graham, one of the largest individual cotton mills in 
the South. He also owns the Bellemont Cotton Mills, at Gra- 
ham, the Carolina Cotton Mills and the Alamance Cotton Mills; 
the latter being the real parent of all the great chain of successful 
mills bearing the name of Holt. 

He is also a stockholder and the president of the E. M. Holt 
Plaid Mills, of Burlington; stockholder in the Asheville Cotton 
Mills; the Mineola Cotton Mills at Gibsonville; the Leaksville 
Cotton Mills, the Spray Cotton Mills, the Morehead Cotton Mills, 
and the Spray Woollen Mills; the American Warehouse Com- 
pany, the Carolina Steel Bridge Company, and the Burlington 
Coffin Company ; and he is interested in many other local enter- 
prises. He has also turned his attention to banking, and is a 
stockholder and director in the Commercial National Bank of 


Charlotte ; a stockholder of the Merchants' and Farmers' Bank of 
the same city, and a stockholder and director in the Bank of Ala- 
mance, located in his home town. He is likewise a stockholder 
of the North Carolina Railroad Company and a member of its 
board of directors. 

But as interested as Mr. Holt is in manufacturing and in finan- 
cial institutions, he has never lost interest in agriculture, nor for- 
gotten the pleasures of his boyhood days on the farm. He owns 
and operates the famous Alamance and Oak Grove farms, situated 
near the town of Graham. Indeed, he is regarded as the largest 
landed proprietor in Alamance County, and under the magic touch 
of his careful management, his broad and fertile fields ripen into 
rich and abundant yields with the recurrence of every harvest 
time. Particularly is he devoted to fine horses and other blooded 
stock, and on his farms are to be found many handsome specimens 
of the best strains of the various kinds of farm animals. 

On October 26, 1865, Mr. Holt was happily married to Miss 
Mary C. Mebane, the daughter of the Hon. Giles Mebane, of Cas- 
well. To them eight children have been born, five of whom still 
siu-vive. During all these years their home life has been a lovely 
dream of delightful accord, and in their hospitable and commo- 
dious home at Graham are frequent gatherings of children and 
grandchildren, each vying with each other in mutual and unselfish 
reverence and love. 

Mr. Holt is a member of the Presbyterian Church, and has for 
years been a member of the board of elders of his church in Gra- 
ham. A man of simple faith, sincere, and earnest in his walk in 
life, his favorite book is that with which he has been familiar all 
his life, the Bible ; and in every way his walk in life exemplifies 
its teachings. Generous by nature, considerate of others and kind 
to his thousand employees, he is a liberal contributor to church, to 
charity and to those public purposes that tend to the amelioration 
of the condition of his community ; and in particular he has been 
a substantial supporter of the cause of education, and much in- 
terested in the public questions that tend to the upbuilding of the 
State and the improvement of his fellow-men. In full sympathy 


with the better element of his community, he is a Democrat and 
follows without faltering the teachings and the destinies of his 
party. Having no taste for public life, and being much engaged 
in the management of his own large affairs, he has steadfastly 
declined public positions, although but few men in the State arc 
so well qualified to discharge high public trust or to manage state 
affairs. Those who know him best esteem him as a model citi- 
zen, a man untiring in patriotic and progressive endeavor, a 
gentleman of pure life and lofty character, firm as a mountain 
peak, yet gentle as the summer breezes that blow about him — an 
exemplification of all that is best and most desirable in high citi- 

S, A. Ashe. 





time, and is to the present, owned by members of the Holt family. 
This bank is to-day first on the honor roll of national banks in 
this State, having a capital stock of $500,000 and a surplus of over 
$250,000. Mr. Holt was a director in this bank for many years, 
but finding his other business interests too absorbing for him to 
be an active director, he resigned, still retaining his large holdings 
of the stock. 

Returning to Alamance County in 1873, Mr. Holt took over 
the one-fifth interest in the Alamance Cotton Mills and the Caro- 
lina Cotton Mills which had been reserved for him by his father 
until his majority, and with his older brothers he was active in the 
management and operation of these mills until 1879, when, fore- 
seeing the great future for the cotton manufacturing industry and 
believing that the best and greatest results could be obtained by 
individual and independent efforts, he left these mills, still re- 
taining his interest therein, and together with his brother, 
L. Banks Holt, built the Bellemont Cotton Mills at Bellemont, a 
small water power on Alamance River about two miles south of 
the old Alamance Cotton Mills. This mill was continuously and 
successfully managed by him for five years. In 1897 Mr. Holt 
desiring to as near as possible concentrate his business interests, 
disposed of his half interest to his brother, L. Banks Holt. The 
erection of this mill was Mr. Holt's first individual undertaking of 
any great importance, and in it he displayed the greatest thought, 
energy, and perseverance, being his own architect, engineer, and 
contractor. It was a signal success from the start, and he re- 
gards this starting out for himself as the most important and 
decisive event in his business career. 

In 1883 Mr. Holt organized and built the E. M. Holt Plaid 
Mills at Burlington, N. C. He was the principal stockholder and 
caused it to be named in honor of his father. He was president 
of this company and had under him as active manager for many 
years his brother-in-law, William A. Erwin, whose subsequent 
success in the cotton manufacturing world attests the good train- 
ing that he here received. 

In 1884 Mr. Holt moved to Burlington, and during that year, in 


connection with his brother, L. Banks Holt, and his brother-in- 
law, John Q. Gant, purchased the Altamahaw Cotton Mills, lo- 
cated on Haw River, about six miles north of Elon College, then 
known as Mill Point. This was a small plant formerly owned by 
B. Davidson and J. Q. Gant. The business was enlarged and has, 
under the management of Mr. Gant, been most successful. At 
present it is a well-equipped mill, containing 324 looms and 6500 

In 1885 Mr. Holt purchased the Lafayette Cotton Mills at Bur- 
lington, which was at that time in a bankrupt condition. He 
changed the name to the Aurora Cotton Mills, and by unremitting 
labor and attention placed this mill in the front rank of mills in 
the State, and made it famous throughout the dry goods field 
with its celebrated Aurora plaids. At present these mills contain 
19,164 spindles and 750 looms and a large addition is being 

In the late nineties Mr. Holt began to retire from itie active 
management and control of his cotton milling interests and to turn 
them over to his sons, who had reached manhood, admitting to 
partnership with him, on October 1, 1896, his two eldest sons, Er- 
win Allen and Eugene, and on October i, 1905, his youngest son, 
Lawrence S. Hoft, Jr. The firm Lawrence S. Holt & Sons on 
the latter date purchased the Hiawatha Cotton Mills, located at 
Gibsonville, N. C. This mill had shortly before its purchase 
passed through a receivership. The entire plant was overhauled, 
additional machinery installed, and its name changed to Gem 
Cotton Mills. It now has 5000 spindles and extensive additions 
are to be made during the present year. 

Mr. Holt is a stockholder in the North Carolina Railroad Com- 
pany, in which he was for years a director and member of its 
finance committee. He is one of the incorporators and a director 
of the Durham and Southern Railway Company, and is a large 
stockholder in the Erwin Cotton Mills of Durham, the Washing- 
Ion Mills of Fries. Va., the Mt. Airy Granite Company, and of 
"^y\y other cotton mills and corporations which have been and are 
•^evtloping the resources of his State and section. 


With his sons in the harness Mr. Holt has of late years shifted 
the burden of active management and has given a great deal of 
time to travel and the large responsibilities of his estate. He has 
been all over his own and the other countries of North America 
and has taken his family through Europe and the Orient several 

He was the first person in the South to pay the wages of his 
employees in cash. This system was inaugurated by him shortly 
after he started the Bellemont Mills and was soon after adopted 
by the other mills, which had up to that time paid off in barter and 
store accounts. He was the first manufacturer in the South to 
shorten the hours of labor from twelve to eleven hours a day, and 
this schedule, inaugurated at the Aurora Mills on September 6, 
1886, was soon after adopted by other mills. In 1902 the Aurora 
Mills made a further reduction of from eleven to ten hours a day, 
in which it was the first of the mills of the South. Thus it may be 
said that Mr. Holt was twice first in reducing the hours of labor 
of the thousands of cotton mill operatives in the South. 

Lawrence S. Holt is a distinct personality. There is an im- 
pression given to the observer of mental and physical vigor and 
strength. He is a positive character, active, alert, and progres- 
sive. His whole being is vibrant with dominant energy, sound 
judgment, and splendid business acumen. He has a genius for 
doing well and promptly all that he undertakes, is exact, syste- 
matic, and f arseeing. Every enterprise planned by him has with- 
out exception been successful. Like his father, he has a keen 
sense of humor and greatly enjoys a good anecdote. Painstaking 
and unsparing of his strength and intellect, he expects from all 
others the same unswerving attention and devotion to duty which 
is present in him to such a great extent. While exacting, he is 
not a hard taskmaster, because he never believes in doing anything 
which is unnecessary. He has often said that "the groans of 
creation are enough without adding to them." He has always 
abhorred waste, destruction, idleness, and improvidence, and en- 
couraged and commended thrift, economy, and good management. 
He believes in keeping everything up to the highest possible degree 


of «fRciency and has accomplished this as much by his own 
example as by his splendid management, for persons associated 
with him who did not properly take advantage of Iheir oppor- 
tunities or realize their responsibilities were soon made to feel 
ashamed by the example set before them in their head. He is an 
ideally devoted husband and father, never sparing himself fatigue 
or hardship that he might lavish on those he loves the best that 
life can afford. As a loyal and generous son of the church, he 
has given without ostentation or publicity freely and cheerfully 
to the support of her various institutions. Any one really deserv- 
ing could always rely upon him as a friend who would advise them 
wisely and without prejudice, and the number of persons to whom 
he has lent financial aid is legion. He has a profound reverence 
and respect for both of his parents, to whom he refers as the most 
wonderful couple he ever knew. 

On April 2, 1872. Mr. Holt was happily married to Miss Mar- 
garet Locke Erwin, daughter of Colonel Joseph J. and Elvira Holt 
Erwin, of Bellevue, near Morganton, N. C. In her are combined 
all the characteristics of gentleness, refinement, unselfishness, and 
true goodness. She has always shared his confidence in all mat- 
ters and her counsel has often been of great value to him. Mr. 
Holt is frank to say that her devotion, sympathy, help, and good 
example have been an inspiration to him at all times. They have 
six children living, as follows: Erwin Allen, Eugene, Margaret 
Erwin, Florence E., Lawrence S., Jr., and Bertha Harper. Their 
eldest daughter, Emily Parish, died in 1882, at the age of five and 
one-half years. Since his marriage he has been a communicant of 
ihe Protestant Episcopal Church and was chiefly instrumental in 
the erection and subsequent maintenance of St. Athanasius Church 
of Burlington, in which he was for years a vestryman. 

E. S. Parker, Jr. 


lALTER LAWRENCE HOLT was bom in Ala- 
' mance County, N. C, on June i, 1859, and is 
t the prime of life, having just completed 
i forty-eighth year. He is the son of James 
1 Henry and Laura Cameron Holt, who was be- 
; fore marriage Laura Cameron Moore, his father 
being a prominent man of affairs, cotton manufacturer, and 
banker, and his grandfather, Edwin M. Holt. After the prepara- 
tory and academic training of childhood and youth, he passed 
through the higher school and collegiate courses of Homer and 
Graves at Oxford, N. C, and through the junior class at David- 
son College, finishing his education at Eastman's Business Col- 
lege, Poughkeepsie, N. Y, 

Walter L. Holt entered upon that business and industrial career 
which already, in the zenith of his manhood, has been so full of 
usefulness and honor, so fruitful of beneficent results, at Carolina 
Mills, under his father, James H. Holt, as bookkeeper and ship- 
ping clerk. Subsequently he became bookkeeper and manager of 
Glencoe Mills, on Haw River, Alamance County. In 1886 be 
built the Elmira Mills at Burlington, Alamance County, with his 
brother, E. C. Holt, as partner, under the firm name of W. L. & 
E. C. Holt, of which mill he is now president. In 1892 he built 
the Lakeside Mill at Burlington with his brothers, E. C. and Cap- 
tain S. M. Holt, the latter now living in Lamar County, Texas, a 
large landowner, planter, and merchant. 

-y.-/-' i>^' 


with the furnishings and comforts of refinement and culture, sur- 
rounded by ornamental grounds, grove, etc., kept in faultless taste 
— is the abode of an ideal domestic life. 

Mr. Holt, like many other men of his class, full of business 
cares, delights in a country life, and is fond of farming, in which 
he achieves no little success in an amateur way. Five or six miles 
west of the city is his country place, "Bonnie Doon," as pretty as 
its Scotch name, a cosy, comfortable cottage, commanding a lovely 
sheet of water, set in a beautiful stretch of forest and hill. Here 
the manufacturer, off duty, swings in his hammock on the ve- 
randa, fancies he can hear his corn grow, listens to the melodious 
whistle of the swamp-sparrow down by the millrace, and springs 
up for his troll as a great speckled trout breaks on the shining 
surface of the lake like a bolt of silver from the blue. A mile o 
two distant Mr. Holt also owns **Lakewood" and its clubhouse^,, 
situated on a generous sandhill stream, which has been long note<3 
for the fine fish which teem in its waters. 

The system of cotton mills of which Walter L. Holt is presL — 
den, director and stockholcier, situated at Holt-Morgan village on 
a commanding hill in the southern outskirts, and in the eastern 
and southern parts of Fayetteville, ranks as one of the most 
complete, solidly built, and excellently equipped systems in North 
Carolina. The buildings are modern in construction, the ma- 
chinery throughout of the best make and workmanship, and the 
villages of the operatives neatly laid oflF. and with a careful super- 
vision for health and comfort, have their unfailing supplies of 
pure water, gardens, schools, churches, etc., while the amusements 
and recreation of leisure hours are not forgotten, the mill people 
counting a cornet band and baseball team among their assets. 

Permeating this whole system is the strong impress of the Holt 
family trait — the ability to plan and carry out great business en- 
terprises and operations reinforced by thorough mastery bf all 
the details of milling in all its branches, from the engine in the 
basement to the most delicate piece of mechanism in textile manu- 
facture. /. H. Myrover. 





tegrity, truthfulness and intensity of purpose, which are marked 
characteristics in his life to-day. 

In 1887, with his brother, Walter L. Holt, he built the Elmira 
Cotton Mills at Burlington, which were successful from the out- 
set, and mindful of the advice of his father, invested the profits 
of the mills in their enlargement. In 1893, with his brother 
Walter, he built the Lakeside Mills, near the Elmira Mills, both of 
which are under the active management of these two brothers. 

In 1895 he built, with his brother Walter, the Holt-Morgan 
Mills at Fayetteville, the two brothers being close partners in 
their various enterprises, the mills chiefly owned and controlled 
by the two, having a working capital and surplus of $1,006,500. 
In 1899, seeing in Wilmington great natural advantages in the 
shape of facilities for acquiring cheap raw material and advan- 
tageous freight rates, he removed to that city and there built the 
Delgado Mills, which are splendidly equipped and bid fair, amidst 
the difficulties of securing labor, of demonstrating the fact that 
the South can manufacture as at Fall River. 

It has been the aim of Edwin in life to be worthy of his father 
in integrity and manliness, and he seeks always by force of exam- 
ple and kindly consideration to upbuild the condition and char- 
acter of all under his employment, or within the scope of his in- 

He was married April 19, 1893, to Dolores Delgado Stevens, 
the daughter of Bishop Peter Faysoux Stevens, of Charleston, 
S. C, and a granddaughter of Bishop William Capers, of South 
Carolina, and a more congenial and happy married life has seldom 
blessed a family. They have an only child, a daughter, Dolores 
Stevens Holt. 

Notwithstanding his busy life, he takes a deep interest in what- 
ever makes for the good of his community. He was captain of 
the Burlington Light infantry for three years, is a Royal Arch 
Mason and Knight Templar, and an active member of the Presby- 
terian Church, holding the office of deacon. Mr. Holt is now 
president of the Delgado Mills at Wilmington, president of Lake- 
side Mills, vice-president and manager of Elmira Mills, vice- 


president of Holt-Morgan Mills, Faye ties v ill e, director in the 
People's Savings Bank at Wilmington, director of the Commercial 
National Bank at Charlotte, and after the death of his father was 
made chairman of the examining board of said bank, which posi- 
tion he still holds. 

If we were asked what are the salient features of his character, 
we would say truthfulness, sincerity, and fidelity to his friends, 

The late Governor Thomas M. Holt on one occasion, while en- 
gaged in the consideration of a serious and embarrassing business 
problem, tried to find the truth of a certain situation. Some one 
remarked that Ed Holt said that a certain fact was true ; the gov- 
ernor remarked: "That settles the question; if Ed Holt says it is 
so, it is true." 

John D. Bellamy, 


f OBERT LACY HOLT, the subject of this 
1 sketch, is the fourth son of James Henry Holt, 
the subject of a former sketch herein, and Laura 
Cameron Holt. He was bom at Thomasville 
1 Davidson County, N. C, January 7, 1867, and 
at this time makes his home at Glencoe Cotton 
Mills in Almance County, N, C. 

Mr. Holt, after attending local schools in his home town of 
Graham, was sent to Horner's School at Oxford, where he was 
prepared to enter the University. He entered the University, but 
so anxious was he to enter the business world that at the end of 
two years he left school and started on his life work by staying 
for a short time in the office of the Glencoe Cotton Mills, of which 
his father was at that time the active manager. After a short 
apprenticeship there, he became general manager of the Carolina 
Cotton Mills, working under his father, and there, owing to his 
own talents, energy, and business sagacity and particularly to the 
training received from his father, Mr. Holt laid broad and deep 
the foundation upon which he has built his subsequent great suc- 
cess in the cotton manufacturing business. In 1890, together with 
his brother, J. H. Holt, Jr., he built the Windsor Cotton Mills at 
Burlington, which was for years successfully operated under the 
firm name of R. L. & J. H, Holt, Jr. This mill was under the 
active management of J. H. Holt, Jr., while the subject of this 


sketch, still working under the guiding eye of his father, became 
the active manager of the Glencoe Cotton Mills. He continued here, 
and contributed in no small way to the success of this mill, while 
learning himself every phase of cotton manufacturing and cotton 
mill building till the death of his father in 1897, when he took 
active charge and had the entire management of Glencoe, Ala- 
mance, Carolina, and Elmira cotton mills. Under his vigorous 
and energetic management all of these mills prospered and im- 
proved till 1902, when, having acquired much the majority of the 
stock in the Glencoe Mills, and desiring to devote all his time and 
attention to the management and upbuilding of this property, he 
retired from the active management of the other mills. Since 
then Mr. Holt has devoted himself to the management of the 
Glencoe Mills, and under his management this mill has about 
doubled in size and capacity. It is now one of the very best 
equipped mills in this section, and further enlargement and im- 
provement? are soon to be undertaken. 

Mr. Holt, while devoting most of his time to the management 
of the Glencoe Mills, has also become interested in other enter- 
prises. He is a director in the Alamance Loan and Trust Com- 
pany, the largest bank in his county ; in the Elmira and Lakeside 
cotton mills, and is president of the Home Insurance Company of 
Greensboro. He is also one of the directors of the Western Hos- 
pital for the Insane, located at Morganton. Mr. Holt has fully 
maintained the enviable reputation of his family for far-sighted 
business sense and, like his father and grandfather before him, 
has been interested and active in those things which were for the 
development of his State, section, and county. To such personal 
prosperity should come and to Mr. Holt it has come. 

In politics Mr. Holt has always taken an active interest. He 
is a Democrat and has been a tower of strength to his party. 
Though frequently urged to do so, he has always refused to take 
a nomination for office at his party's hands, and the only time he 
has permitted political preferment to be shown him was when he 
allowed himself to be sent as a delegate from his congressional 
district to the national convention in 1904. 


In later years Mr. Holt has acquired lands until now he is one 
of the largest real estate holders of Alamance County, and he is 
one of those who makes farming pay. Near Glencoe Mills he 
owns large tracts of land. These lands are in a high state of 
cultivation and Mr. Holt has his place thoroughly stocked with 
blooded hogs, sheep, and cattle. His herd of registered Devons 
is perhaps unexcelled in the State. He has the same strain in 
these cattle that was first introduced in this section by his kinsman. 
Dr. William R. Holt. In the hunting season it is Mr. Holt's de- 
light to have his friends with him, and they who have been so 
fortunate as to know from experience, speak enthusiastically of 
the good times that can be and are had at "Fort Snug," Mr. Holt's 
country home. 

Mr. Holt loves a fine horse and owns and drives some that 
have made good on the race course. Mr. Holt, like his honored 
father, is a man to whom others instinctivdy turn in a time of 
trouble, certain that they will find in him a friend. He docs 
charity, but one must learn of it from the outspoken gratitude of 
the recipients, because in this, again like his father, he is secret, 
gaining his reward from his personal knowledge of good done. 

Mr. Holt is a good exemplification of the maxim, "absolute, ac- 
curate knowledge is power." He knows the cotton business, 
not with an uncertain, wavering kind of knowledge, but abso- 
lutely. He has made it a special study, and the writer has been 
frequently struck when, hearing the figures as to cotton produc- 
tion, acreage, and the like under discussion, to see the absolute 
accuracy of Mr. Holt's knowledge. With this accurate informa- 
tion, always at his command, and with the training that has come 
from his years in the cotton business, it is no wonder he succeeds. 
It would be the wonder were it otherwise. 

In closing, the writer, quoting others who have known Mr. 
Holt and who knew his father before him, and voicing his own 
feelings, can pay him a great compliment : "He is a worthy son 
of his father." This is high praise. E. S. Parker, Jr. 



It was built of logs, and was without windows, without desks, and 
without seats, save the outsides of logs, through which holes had 
been bored and pegs inserted for legs. To obtain light at the 
^'writing desk," a log or two had been cut from the wall, and this 
opening filled with a wooden shutter that could be raised or low- 
ered at will. This school is spoken of at this day as one of the 
best ever taught in the district. 

On his father's side Professor Holt was the grandnephew of 
the late Judge A. D. Murphey, the well-known friend of educa- 
tion, and from him, perhaps, were derived those traits which in- 
clined him to an intellectual rather than to a commercial calling 
in life. When Mr. Holt was about fifteen vears old a consider- 
able body of farm land, adjoining the farm of his father, was of- 
fered for sale ; and his father's decision not to purchase it for his 
boys was largely influenced by his son, who chose to spend his life 
with books rather than on the farm. He was a delicate boy, nor 
did he overcome this lack of robustness till his fifteenth year- 
He possesses now, in his fifty-fifth year, a magnificent physique, is 
more than six feet tall, and weighs about two hundred and twenty 
pounds. His head is leonine, his eyes gray and serious except 
when lighted with a spirit of humor, of which he possesses an 
abundant fund. 

After teaching two years he entered college at eighteen, paying 
his own way. He attended Oak Ridge Institute, and afterward 
Williams College, Mass., the Ohio Wesleyan University, and the 
Ohio Business College, where he remained until his graduation 
in 1875. Teaching had been his personal preference from youth,- 
and in 1875, having qualified himself for teaching, became senior 
member of Oak Ridge Institute, in which he and his younger 
brother. Professor Martin H. Holt, had received the rudiments 
of their higher education, and of which, by purchase, they have 
become joint proprietors and principals. 

Oak Ridge Institute was established in 1852, and even prior to 
1861 its course of study prepared for advanced classes at the 
University, and its faculty were men of liberal education and 
culture ; but when the war came on, its students, like the student* 


of many other southern schools, volunteered almost to a man 
and marched away to fight in the southern army. 

In 1866, the original school building was destroyed by fire and 
the school was taught in the public schoolhouse until 1868, when a 
smaller building was erected. In 1875, when Mr. Holt came 
from the northern schools, he found Oak Ridge Institute no 
more than a neighborhood school, and opened the tirst session 
he taught with only seven students, and they from the neighbor- 
hood. But he had faith in his State, its resources, its people, and 
recognizing its educational needs, has done what he could to sup- 
ply them by giving the best years of his life to schoolroom work. 
Oak Ridge Institute is a monument to the joint effort and wisdom 
of his brother and himself. The school, without endowment, has 
grown until it now has splendid buildings and an enrollment of 
nearly three hundred students from many States of the Union, 
and from foreign countries. 

The aim of the principals has been to make it not only a 
monetary success, but a school entirely up-to-date, where pupils 
may be qualified for any branch of commercial life, and a place 
where parents may place their sons with entire confidence that 
every safeguard will be thrown around them, and everything that 
can conduce to their moral, mental, and physical welfare pro- 
vided. Besides the usual collegiate instruction, including lan- 
guage, science, and literature, a full commercial course has been 
added. Inspired by lofty purposes himself, he has inspired his 
students to right living and high ideals, and his native State has 
been made richer in exalted citizenship and material wealth 
through the boys whom he has taught. 

Professor Holt has fine business judgment and is a director of 
the City National Bank of Greensboro, N. C, and of the North 
State Fire Insurance Company. He is a member of the Junior 
Order of United American Mechanics, and of the Masonic Order, 
and has been elected repeatedly delegate to the state and general 
conferences of the Methodist Protestant Church, of which he is 
a member. He is also a trustee of the University of North Caro- 
lina. In 1901 he was president of the North Carolina Teachers' 


Assembly, and for twenty-two years was chairman of the board 
of education of Guilford County. 

Although reared in a Republican home and under Republican 
influences, Professor Holt is a lifelong Democrat, and from 1872, 
when he cast his first ballot, he has voted for the Democratic 
candidates. He was elected to the senate from Guilford County 
in 1906, serving in the General Assembly of 1907, the honor com- 
ing to him unsought. For more than half a century the senato 
had been chosen from Greensboro, but the people of Guilfo; 
County, recognizing Professor Holt's eminent fitness, laid asid 
this time-honored custom and chose him as their representativ 
in the senate. He made a most valuable member, and as chair- 
man of the committee on education, and as a member of the com 
mittees on railroads and finance, took a leading part in shapin 

The News and Observer, speaking of Professor Holt's recon ^ 
in the senate, says: 

"Senator Holt has made a record of which his profession, \uis 
county, and his State have cause to be proud. He showed that tVte 
schoolteacher is practical, sensible, and as true as the needle to the 
pole in representing the interest of all the people. He has killed the 
old idea that the teacher is not practical. It would be a good thiiy 
if North Carolina had more legislators like J. Allen Holt." 

The legislation that he particularly championed was the reduc- 
tion of railroad passenger and freight rates, better educational 
facilities for the masses of the people, and the control of trusts. 
He is a debater of rare force. While taking a great interest in 
his school and his other financial interests, he finds time to in- 
dulge his fancy for general literature, and for poetical works, 
and to enjoy out-of-door exercise, and college athletics. 

On December 29, 1881, he married Miss Sallie Knight, and 
their marriage has been blessed with three children — ^namely. Pro- 
fessor Earl P. Holt, now teaching at Oak Ridge Institute, Blanche 
Holt, and Clyde Allen Holt. 

T. E. WhUaker. 

rrp. Ll-NOX AND 




him that insight into the minds of youth, so necessary in the worl 
of teaching. He grew rapidly, and at an early age was noted foic 
his physical strength. He took great interest in the sports o-J 
youth, and was the champion wrestler of his neighborhood ; wht^ 
he had grown to manhood and was engaged in teaching, althou^f^ 
many of his pupils were large and strong, none were able to besf 
him in a wrestle. He is passionately fond of music and performs 
well on the violin; and his presence was a familiar one at the 
country dances of thirty-five years ago. He was not only an in- 
dustrious student, but took an active interest in farm work, and 
throughout his life has retained his love of the soil. He has a 
practical knowledge of horticulture, and his well-kept lawns, 
fields, and orchards show the hand of a master. < 

As a boy he was a leader, and his control of boys as a teacher 
has been remarkable, influencing them to their best endeavors, not 
only in their school-room work, but in their social conduct. His 
old students speak of him with love and reverence; and in their 
schoolboy escapades he was the one who could always outrun 
them, and discover their secrets and frustrate their plans of mis- 
chief. He studied at Oak Ridge Institute and at Kemersville 
High School, finishing his education under professors at the state 
university, and holds the degree of master of arts from Western 
Maryland College, a well-known high-grade institution of the 
Methodist Protestant Church. 

He began his career of teaching at Kernersville Public School 
during the winter of 1872-73, when but seventeen years old. 

He taught the Tabernacle High School during the fall of 1873 
and spring of 1874. From there he went to Richmond, where he 
remained during the fall of 1874, the year of 1875, and the spring 
of 1876, as a salesman on the road for Powers, Blair & Co., large 
wholesale grocers. In the fall of 1876 he returned to Tabernacle 
High School, where he remained until Christmas of 1878, building 
up a flourishing preparatory school. In January, 1879, ^^ the 
solicitation of the trustees of Oak Ridge Institute, he came to that 
school to join his brother. Professor J. Allen Holt, in the conduct 
of the school, who began teaching at Oak Ridge Institute in 1875. 


From that time on the history of Oak Ridge Institute is the his- 
tory of the lives of its co-principals. Professors Martin H. Holt 
and J. Allen Holt. He says he "was called to be a teacher" while 
studying law under Judge Settle, and in pursuance of this call he 
laid down the law and began at once the vocation of teacher, 
which he has followed faithfully and through so happy and 
successful a career that he has never had occasion to doubt 
the truth of his calling. Although attending earnestly to the 
duties and business affairs of the school he has taken an active 
part in the public business of his neighborhood and of his 

He has made it a point to understand the humblest duties of the 
citizen, and in that way his services have been of the greatest 
importance to his own family and to his country. It may be said 
of him that his life has been the happy combination of living 
among relatives and friends, engaging primarily in the literary 
work of his inclination, and yet not negligent of the duties and 
avocations of the citizen. 

In 1893 he served Guilford County in the General Assembly as 
a member of the house of representatives. ' This high honor 
came to him unexpectedly, and was an expression of the appre- 
ciation and good will of the people of his county. 

He was one of the most influential members of the General 
Assembly. He was chairman of the committee on education, and 
a member of the committees on appropriation, finance, corpo- 
rations, and counties, cities and towns. He was instrumental in 
increasing the rate of taxation for public education from 15 to 
162-3%. The General Assembly never creates public opinion; 
great reforms never begin in a law-making body. They begin, if 
at all, among the people, and find expression in the assembly of 
law makers. At that time public opinion, especially in the eastern 
part of the State, was in a large measure in opposition to public 
education, and it was a great victory for the cause of public edu- 
cation when he increased the rate of taxation for public education 
I 2-3%. He advocated in caucus a 6% rate of interest, which 
afterward became a law in North Carolina. He was also instru- 


mental in increasing the appropriations for the public institutions, 
educational and charitable, of his State. 

His great-uncle, Archibald D. Murphey, had made the same 
fight in the house three-quarters of a century before. Next to 
Oak Ridge Institute, the Deaf and Dumb School at Morganton, 
is Professor Holt's greatest achievement in life. He was one of 
its initial directors, and the only member of the board of directors 
to serve continuously from the time of its inauguration to the 
present. This school is the pride of North Carolina and ranks 
with the two other leading schools for the deaf and dumb in the 
United States, being a combined school, using both oral and 
manual methods of instruction. Professor Holt selected the 
beautiful hill on which the great buildings stand, bringing light 
and comfort to the hundreds of unfortunate deaf and dumb chil- 
dren of North Carolina. He has never been too busy with his 
own affairs to give of his time and means to make this school the 
success it is. 

From 1893 to 1897, Professor Holt was a member of the board 
of trustees of the University of North Carolina. In- 1887, he was 
a representative in the General Conference of the Methodist 
Protestant Church. He is a speaker and a debater of more than 
ordinary ability, is of poetical temperament, and delights in study 
of the classics. In the intervals between the duties of his busy 
life, he is preparing a work for publication, and in collecting the 
materials for it he spends many of his hours of recreation. 

He is tall and straight and carries himself with martial 
bearing; his eye is clear and piercing and his presence attracts 
attention in any company. He is more than six feet tall and 
weighs more than two hundred and twenty-five pounds. 

In 1878, Professor Holt was married to Miss Mary A. Lam- 
beth, and the union has been blessed with three children, Myrtk 
May Holt, who married Professor J. T, Bennett, Loftin Martin 
Holt, who died in infancy, and John Harvey Holt, who is living 
at Oak Ridge. T. E. Whitaker. 



Having graduated, young Hooper studied law under James 
Otis, who, in February, 1 761, by his wonderful speech against the 
abominable tyranny of writs of assistance, had taken front rank 
among the patriots of America. Taught by Otis, Hooper broke 
loose from the traditions of his family and himself became deeply 
imbued with a spirit resolute to maintain the rights of the colonists 
and their traditional liberties. 

In 1764 Mr. Hooper embarked for Wilmington, N. C, with the 
view of casting his fortunes in this province. He was well re- 
ceived, and in 1766 was elected recorder of the borough of Wil- 
mington, and entered on the discharge of his duties. In the fall 
of the next year he married, at Boston. Miss Ann Clark, a 
daughter of Thomas Clark, one of the early settlers of Wilming- 
ton, by his wife, Barbara Murray; and thus became the brother- 
in-law of Colonel Thomas Clark, afterward colonel of the North 
Carolina Continental Line. 

On the Cape Fear the Boston scholar found agreeable and con- 
genial associates. William Hill, the elder, himself a scholar, was 
from Boston ; and there were Eustace, Harnett, Lloyd, Penning- 
ton, who figured in the Stamp Act troubles and was later master 
of ceremonies at Bath ; Maclaine, whose "Notes on Shakespeare" 
entitled him to fame ; Boyd, Moore, Howe, and others, each par- 
ticularly distinguished for versatility, wit, humor, or attainments. 
These were his companions, and in their society the young lawyer 
found occasion for the exercise of his highest powers. As re- 
corder of Wilmington, he naturally participated in public affairs, 
and in 1771 he is said to have served, along with his brother-in- 
law and the other gentlemen of the east, in the suppression of the 
Regulators at Alamance : and Tryon and Martin and Howard, the 
chief justice, distinguished him by their regard and manifested a 
desire to conciliate his friendship. 

The assemblies prior to 1771 had sought to relieve the Regulators 
from the grievances of which they complained ; and the first As- 
sembly convened by Governor Martin in December, after the bat- 
tle, proposed still further to relieve the people by repealing the 
poll tax of one shilling, which had years before been imposed to 


create a sinking fund. This step precipitated a sharp collision 
between the governor and the Assembly, which was immediately 
dissolved. A new Assembly was elected and met in January, 
1773, and Mr. Hooper now for the first time made his appearance 
in that body, being chosen to represent the borough of Camp- 
bellton. There was an irreconcilable disagreement between the 
Assembly and the governor at that time over the court bill, and 
Mr. Hooper at once became prominent as an ardent supporter of 
the rights of the province. Continental matters were now so por- 
tentous that Josiah Quincy, of Boston, visited the South to pre- 
pare for the plan of continental correspondence which had been 
suggested by Virginia and Massachusetts. In his "Diary" he 
made the following entries : 

"March 29, 1773. Dined at Dr. Thomas Cobham's in company 
Harnett. Hooper^ and others. 

March 30. Dined with about twenty at Mr. William Hooj 5. 
him apparently in the Whig interest; has taken their side 
— is caressed by the Whigs, and is now passing his election 
the influence of that party." 

Hooper was in full sympathy with Quincy's mission, and at that 
new election he was chosen along with John Ashe to represent 
New Hanover County in the house. Ashe being the leader of 
the Whig party, Hooper's association with him clearly fixes his 
relations to the measures then agitating the public mind. The As- 
sembly then chosen, on December 8, 1773, appointed a "standing 
Committee of Correspondence," consisting of nine of the 
most influential gentlemen of the province, among them being 
William Hooper, whose importance was now thoroughly ap- 

Toward the end of March, 1774, the governor prorogued the 
Assembly, and a few days later Colonel Harvey, the speaker, re- 
ceived information that the governor did not propose to convene 
another as long as the public mind was in a state of agitation. 
Immcrliately Colonel Harvey conceived the idea that the people 
would elect deputies and an assembly or convention might be held 
without the governor's sanction ; and on April 4th he conferred 


with Sam Johnston and Colonel Buncombe, having the day before 
mentioned the idea to Willie Jones. Colonel Harvey declared 
that he himself would issue handbills calling on the people to take 
this action. The next day Johnston wrote to Hooper and men- 
tioned the subject, detailing what Harvey had said and done, and 
asking Hooper's advice and that he *'should confer with Harnett 
and Colonel Ashe and other such men" about it. It is thus ap- 
parent that Hooper had already attained a high position in the 
confidence and esteem of the Whig leaders. The necessity for 
such action did not, however, appear to be immediate, but within 
three months the occasion arose. News was received that the 
port of Boston had been closed. Hooper was greatly interested. 
On June 21st he wrote to Iredell : 

"I am absorbed in the distress of my native country. The inhuman- 
ity of Britain can be equaled by nothing but its mistaken policy. In- 
fatuated people! Do they imagine that we will make a tame surrender 
of all that an honest man ought to hold dear, without a struggle to pre- 

There was at once set on foot measures for a general meeting 
of the inhabitants of the district of Wilmington, which was held 
at the town of Wilmington, July 21, 1774. Of that meeting Wil- 
liam Hooper was chairman. A committee consisting of Colonel 
James Moore, Francis Clayton, and six others was appointed to 
address a circular letter calling for "the election of deputies to 
attend a general meeting at Johnston Court House on the 20th 
of August to adopt and prosecute such measures as will effec- 
ually tend to avert the miseries which threaten us." There was 
also a resolution, "that we consider the cause of the town of Bos- 
ton as the common cause of British America, and as suffering in 
defense of the rights of the colonies in general ; and that therefore 
we have sent a supply of provisions for the indigent inhabitants of 
that place, etc." 

It would seem that Hooper was the chief actor in these pro- 
ceedings. His noble distress at the sufferings of Boston impelled 
him to assume the role of leadership ; but he was zealously and 
steadfastly sustained by his patriotic associates. Colonel James 


Moore, Francis Clayton, and others of the committee at once is- 
sued a circular letter to the various counties calling for the elec- 
tion of deputies to a provincial convention. It was the first appeal 
to the sovereignty of the people — ^the first recognition that the 
people were the source of power and of government. Hooper 
and John Ashe again represented the people of New Hanover, 
while Francis Clayton was chosen for the borough, as members 
of this first revolutionary body. There was no thought then of 
making a struggle for separation, but the idea that sooner or later 
the colonies would become independent was well lodged in the 
mind of Mr. Hooper. On April 26, 1774, he had written tO 
Iredell : "The colonies are striding fast to independence, and ere- 
long will build an empire upon the ruins of Great Britain." The 
beginning made by the meeting of which he was the moving spirit 
was in the line of that thought. One of the purposes of the con- 
gress was to appoint delegates to represent the province in a Con- 
tinental Congress that was called to meet at Philadelphia on 
September 20, 1774. 

Mr. Hooper was distinguished for his oratory and was doubtless 
the most scholarly and best educated man in public life in the 
province. He had a pleasing personality, while his superiority as 
a man of letters was generally admitted, Iredell and Johnston 
especially having an unbounded admiration for him. His leader- 
ship in the Wilmington movement that took the necessary steps to 
convene the convention, and the furor of his patriotic ardor gave 
him additional prominence ; so that he was named the first of the 
three delegates chosen to represent the province in the Continental 
Congress. On September 14th, the day he appeared in the con- 
gress, he and his colleague, Hewes, were added to the committee 
that had already been appointed "to state the rights of the colo- 
nies," and he was also added to the committee to report the 
statutes which affect the trade of the colonies. That first Con- 
tinental Congress adopted an association and recommended the 
establishment of committees of safety. On November 23d, the 
Wilmington Committee of Safety was formed, William Hooper 
being present and being chosen one of the committee. 


Mr. Hooper was a member both of the Assembly and of the 
convention that met April 4, 1775, at New Bern, and he was again 
chosen a delegate to the Continental Congress. The ro)ral gov- 
ernor was still at his post. There was still hope that Parliament 
and the king might heed the remonstrances of America. The 
clash of arms had not then come, and although Ashe in New 
Hanover and Howe in Brunswick a month earlier had organized 
independent companies, the convention declined to authorize the 
organization of such companies and no steps were taken to pre- 
pare for a conflict. But the convention had hardly adjourned be- 
fore the battle of Lexington occurred on the 19th of April, and 
by the 6th of May the intelligence reached New Bern. Now the 
scene was all changed ; the war spirit was thoroughly aroused and 
independent military companies were forming in every county. 
These changes occurring after the departure of the delegates for 
Philadelphia, who found the war furor intense to the northward, 
they were fearful that North Carolina would be tardy, especially 
as the British Government had sought to detach her from the com- 
mon cause by exempting her from the unfriendly legislation, 
doubtless because her naval stores were so important to Great 
Britain. Fearful of supineness at home, Hooper at once wrote to 
Harnett so strongly that the Wilmington committee on the 31st of 
May urged Sam Johnston, who, on the death of Harvey, had 
become moderator, to call immediately another provincial con- 
gress ; and in June he and the other delegates addressed a general 
letter to the committees of safety, urging the necessity of arming 
and equipping military companies and providing for defense- 
This letter, which Governor Martin attributed to Hooper, was 
declared by the royal governor to have been most eflFective in 
arousing the people. Nor did Hooper stop there. He knew that 
Martin relied on the powerful aid of the Highlanders and disaf- 
fected Regulators and the Loyalists of the interior, who were nu- 
merous, so he sought, through the aid of the Presbyterian minis- 
ters of Philadelphia, to set those people right in North Carolina. 
These efforts were neither unnecessary nor ineffectual. In con- 
sequence of them a great change was made in popular sentiment 


in the interior, and Governor Martin's expectations were only par- 
tially realized. 

The third Provincial Congress met at Hillsboro in August, and 
Mr. Hooper was a member of that body. The congress organ- 
ized two continental regiments and six battalions of minute men, 
and so numerous were the independent companies that the con- 
gress dissolved them all until the regulars and minute men should 
be organized, allowing their formation then with the consent of 
the local committees. 

On that meeting of this congress, a committee of wliicii Mr. 
Hooper was chairman was raised to prepare a test to be signed 
by the members of congress. The test framed by them, which 
was signed by every member of the body, professed allegiance to 
the king, but declared that the people of the province were bound 
by the acts and resolutions of the Continental Congress, as well 
as the provincial congresses. On the 23d of August the congress 
accepted the association entered into by the general congress on 
October 20, 1774. The next day Mr. Hooper presented for the 
consideration of the body articles of confederacy, whereby it was 
proposed that the united colonies should bind themselves and their 
posterity into a league for their general welfare; and the con- 
federacy was to be perpetual until Great Britain should do certain 
things therein stipulated, making reparation for the injury done to 
Boston and for the expenses of the war, and until all the British 
troops should be withdrawn from America. Substantially, the 
proposed constitution therefore formed a union and general gov- 
ernment similar to that subsequently adopted ; but the congress, 
after considering it fully, came to the conclusion that it would be 
best to continue for the present under the original articles of asso- 
ciation. Mr. Hooper and his colleagues were formally thanked by 
the congress for their manly, spirited, and patriotic discharge of 
their duty as delegates. In their reply to the address of the presi- 
dent, they said : "With hearts warm with a zealous love of liberty 
and desirous of a reconciliation with the parent state upon terms 
just and constitutional, etc., etc.," and immediately afterward the 
fame delegates were elected to the Continental Congress for an- 


other year. It is evident that a purpose to separate from Great 
Britain was not generally avowed at that period. 

But Governor Martin having fled toward the end of May from 
his palace, having been driven in July from North Carolina soil, 
and the assemblies having ceased to meet, the Provincial Congress 
now became the only government, and to conduct affairs when it 
was not in session, a Provincial Council of thirteen was formed 
and district committees of safety. 

At the next session of the Continental Congress, Mr. Hooper 
and Mr. Jefferson appear to have been uniformly assigned to the 
same special committees. At that session the marine committee 
was established, of which Mr. Hewes became the head and so he 
virtually became the first secretary of the navy, and Mr. Hooper 
was likewise a member of that committee. He and Dr. Franklin 
were also on the committee of secret intelligence, perhaps the most 
important working committee instituted by the congress. They 
were authorized to conceal important information from the con- 
gress itself, to keep secret agents abroad, and to make secret 
agreements, pledging the faith of congress and of the people. 

Events were now hastening rapidly toward a conflict at home; 
while throughout all the colonies the purpose to maintain the liber- 
ties of the people as British subjects was giving place to a resolu- 
tion to strike for independence. In January Tom Painc's 
pamphlet, "Common Sense," was published in Philadelphia, and 
gave a great impetus in this direction. On February 6th Hooper 
wrote to Johnston : "My first wish is to be free, my second, to be 
reconciled to Great Britain." A week later Penn, who had suc- 
ceeded Caswell as a delegate, expressed the same sentiment in a 
letter to Tom Person. Contemporaneously with this progress of 
the spirit of independence came the development of Governor 
Martin's plan to subjugate North Carolina. Early in February, 
the royal standard was erected in the interior, and the Highlanders 
and some of the Regulators, having embodied, began their mardi 
to join the British forces on the lower Cape Fear. The battle of 
Moore's Creek ensued, and the victory of February 27th fixed the 
people in their determination to fight for their liberties and free- 


dom, not as British subjects, but as citzens of a free and inde- 
pendent State. Within a week the fourth Provincial Congress 
met at Halifax, and on April 5th Sam Johnston, the moderator, 
having mingled with the delegates, wrote to Iredell: "All here 
are for independence." 

A week later, April I2th, a resolution was unanimously pro- 
posed, instructing the delegates to concur in declaring independence. 
On April 15th Hooper and Penn, both of whom were dele- 
gates, arrived from Philadelphia and took their seats. Mr. Hooper 
-was the same day appointed chairman of the committee to take 
measures to supply the province with arms and ammunition and 
appointed on the committee to prepare a temporary form of gov- 
emmenL He was also appointed diairman of a committee to take 
measures for the defense of the sea-coast, and he was added to the 
committee of secrecy, war, and intelligence. He was also chair- 
man of the committee to consider and report the business neces- 
sary to be carried into execution by the congress. 

It thus appears that the talents of Mr, Hooper were regarded 
by his associates as no less practical than they were dazzling; and 
he was employed as one of the foremost and most useful instru- 
ments of the congress in a contest, the character of which had 
been changed by the resolution of April 12th, directing the dele- 
gates to concur in declaring independence. 

The British army was now occupying the lower Cape Fear, and 
the province was threatened with subjugation. The peril was 
great, and Mr. Hooper remained at home at the post of danger 
and was not present in the Continental Congress when the ques- 
tion of declaring independence was being discussed; but Hewes' 
action there, in conformity with his instructions, is said by John 
Adams to have been decisive in determining the great question. 
On August 2, 1776, Hooper and the other delegates in congress 
affixed their names to the immortal Declaration, and he had his 
share in the birth of the new nation that was to become the marvel 
of the world and the best hope of humanity. 

Mr. Hooper was not a member of the Provincial Congress that 
framed the state constitution, being then in attendance on the 


Continental Congress. On February 4, 1777, he obtained leave 
to return home and was in attendance on the Assembly that met 
in April, 1777; on April 29, 1777, he resigned his seat in the Con- 
tinental Congress ; and on May 4th the Legislature appointed Dr. 
Burke, Penn, and Cornelius Harnett as the delegates. Mr. 
Hooper continued in the house of commons as a representative 
of the borough of Wilmington until 1784, when he removed to 
Orange County, and was elected a representative from Orange in 
that year. 

Mr. Hooper's residence was at Masonboro Sound, near Wil- 
mington; and when the British occupied Wilmington at the end 
of January, 1781, he preferred that his family should be within 
the protecting influence of the commanding British officer to be- 
ing subjected to the vengeance of Tories and marauding parties, 
and so he sent Mrs. Hooper into Wilmington, while he himself 
withdrew into the interior, spending a part of the time at Edenton. 
The British were animated by a spirit of particular malevolence 
in regard to him, and burnt a house of his some three miles below 
Wilmington, and before their withdrawal treated Mrs. Hooper 
cruelly, requiring her to leave the town in an open boat almost 
without protection, she making the best of her way to Mrs. 
Swann's residence on Rocky Point, on the northeast branch of 
Cape Fear. General Rutherford being in the vicinity, however, 
provided Mrs. Hooper with wagons to move to Hillsboro. 

Mr. Hooper's expenses while attending the Continental Con- 
gress were largely in excess of the compensation, and on his re- 
tirement from that employment, as soon as the courts were open 
again, he returned to the practice of the law, which, however, 
was not in those years very remunerative. But he remained a 
powerful factor in public matters. Closely associated with Gen- 
eral Clark, Archibald Maclaine, Henry Watters, Sam Johnston, 
and particularly with James Iredell, who rode the circuit with 
him and with whom he maintained a close correspondence, he 
was one of those who exerted the most conservative influence in 
that formative period of our institutions. Unhappily there were 
considerable differences developed among our public men. Par- 


ties divided somewhat on the basis of popular rights, and the 
more conservative statesmen were always fearful that the people 
were taking too extreme action. There was also trouble between* 
the lawyers and the judges. The court was not efficient, and the 
lawyers were often not helpful. The attitude of Tredell and 
Hooper toward the court was, however, very different from that 
of Hay and Maclaine ; while the latter were generally obstreper- 
ous, the former were always respectful. When the treaty of 
peace was made, it contained some provisions relative to the 
restoration of the property of Tories that had been confiscated. 
The Assembly refused to assent to those provisions, and the 
judges showed little favor to those Tories who had engaged in 
partisan warfare and in marauding bands had devastated their 
own neighborhoods and murdered their fellow-citizens. Such 
characters the court held were not within the terms of the treaty. 
The lawyers generally had Tory clients whom they were inter- 
ested in protecting both because of pecuniary considerations and 
personal attachments. This situation led to warfare between the 
Bar and the Bench; and at length at the session of December, 
1786, articles of impeachment were presented against the judges, 
and their conduct was investigated. Mr. Hooper, writing to 
Iredell, says : "This ridiculous pursuit of Hay's ended as we ex- 
pected. It was conceived in spleen and conducted with such 
headstrong passion, that after the charges were made, evidence 
was wanting to support them." Mr. Hooper being a member of 
the Assembly, however, would not agree that the judges were to 
be thanked for all of their conduct, and filed a protest against the 
action of the Assembly. Mr. Hooper then represented Orange 
County in the house of commons, but it was his last session. In 
1788, being much interested in the ratification of the Federal 
Constitution, he was brought forward as a candidate for a seat 
in the convention, but was defeated; and although he continued 
to practice and exerted a personal influence, he did not appear 
again in public life. He had the satisfaction, however, of realiz- 
ing that the people who, in previous years, has swung away from 
what he regarded as the conservative and safer course, had re- 


turned and were more in accord with his views. In 1787 Sam 
Johnston, the leader of the conservatives, was elected governor 
of the State, and again in 1788, and upon the organization of the 
convention of 1789, he presided over that body and was elected 
the first senator in congress, while Willie Jones, General Ruther- 
ford and other Democratic leaders were rejected by the people. 
As grateful as this change in the public mind must have been to 
Mr. Hooper, he did not long live to enjoy it. 

In May, 1790, his health was very bad, and Iredell wrote: 
"Without some extraordinary change, poor fellow! I fear a few 
rtonths will finish him." On October 14, 1790, after a protracted 
illness, he passed away in his forty-eighth year. Mr. Hooper left 
three children. His son William also left three children. But 
his descendants are now confined to the descendants of his grand- 
son, Rev. William Hooper. 

S. A. Ashe. 


f RUDITE scholar, profound theologian, brilliant 
i essayist, incomparable wit, William Hooper en- 
_ joyed the rare distinction of having his prc- 
II eminence in his chosen field of endeavor uni- 
' formly admitted by the people of his native 
, State. His versatile genius, his restless spirit, 
and his changing point of view illustrate admirably the power of 
heredity to overcome the strong influence of environment. 

His great-grandfather, William Hooper, was a Scotchman, was 
graduated from the University of Edinburgh, and became pastor 
of a Congregational church in Boston, Mass., in 1737. Suddenly, 
in 1747, he became ar Episcopalian, and went to England to re- 
ceive orders in the Church of England. Returning to Boston, he 
became rector of Trinity Church, which post he held until his 
death in 1767. His wife, Mary Dennie, always remained a Con- 
gregationalist. The Rev. William Hooper was a stanch loyalist, 
as were all but one of his children, his son William alone em- 
bracing the patriot cause. 

William Hooper, son of this Scotch rector of Trinity Church, 
was born in Boston in 1742, was graduated from Harvard College 
in 1760, and the story of his life is told in the preceding pages of 
this volume. He had, in 1767, married in Boston his old sweet- 
heart, Ann Clark, whose brother, Thomas Clark, was a colonel 
and brevet-brigadier general in the Revolutionary army. 


William, the oldest child of the signer, was bom probably at 
Masonboro Sound, near Wilmington, in 1768. He married, June 
26, 1 79 1, Helen Hogg, daughter of James Hogg, of Hillsboro, 
and died in Brunswick County, July 15, 1804, leaving three sons: 
William (the subject of this sketch), Thomas, and James. Of 
his life we know but little ; but his son, the Rev. William Hooper, 
attributed many of his mental characteristics to the father, whom 
a contemporary newspaper, the Philadelphia Daily Times, de- 
scribes as *'a wealthy planter in North Carolina, whose life was 
as unruffled as the current of a gentle brook." He died when his 
oldest son was but twelve years old. In 1809, his widow married 
Dr. Joseph Caldwell, a graduate of Princeton, president of the 
University of North Carolina. 

The Rev. William Hooper was born, as he himself tells us in 
an autobiography written for his grandson Henry, at Hillsboro, 
August 31, 1792. His mother moved to Chapel Hill upon the 
death of her husband, when William was but twelve years old, 
that she might the better attend to the education of her sibns, buy- 
ing and building on the lot now occupied by the home of the 
president of the University. Here William became the pupil of 
Dr. Joseph Caldwell, Presbyterian preacher and college professor. 
He was soon prepared for college, and was graduated from the 
University of North Carolina in 1809, at the age of seventeen. 
At this time he was strongly Calvinistic and Presbyterian in his 
views, and proceeded to Princeton for the study of theology. In 
1812 he received the degree of master of arts from the Univer- 
sity of North Carolina. In 1818 he was confirmed in the 
Episcopal Church and soon thereafter decided to enter the min- 
istry. He was licensed as lay reader in St. Mary's Parish, 
Orange County, by the convention of 1819; received deacon's 
orders in 1820; was ordained to the priesthood on Wednesday, 
April 24, 1822, and assumed the pastoral charge of St John's 
Church, Fayetteville. 

Mr. Hooper had already married, in 1814, Frances P. Jones, 
daughter of Edward Jones, solicitor general of North Carolina; 
and he had been professor of ancient languages in the University 


of North Carolina since 1817, which position he relinquished to 
enter the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church. He re- 
tained the charge of his parish at Fayetteville for only three 
years and returned to the University in 1825 as professor of logic 
and rhetoric, though he resumed his old chair of ancient lan- 
guages in 1827. He gave up the office of priest because he had 
been cursed by a precocious two-year-old to whom he was admin- 
istering the sacrament of baptism. This led to thoughtful study 
of his position, and the result was that Mr. Hooper, in 1S31, 
united with a Baptist church. I deem it just to state in his own 
words his reason for the change : 

"The writer was led to adopt his present sentiments on the subject 
of baptism in spite of all his previous prejudices and rcligiou^i connec- 
tions and apparent worldly interests by comparing the plain, full 
information given us in the New Testament with the accounts left us 
by the Christian Fathers who lived next after the apostles. His mind 
first became disquieted on the subject while he was a minister of the 
Episcopal Church, by the language of the baptismal service of that 
church, in which, immediately after the application of the water, a 
solemn thanksgiving is returned to God, 'that he hnih regenerated 
with water and the Holy Spirit' every person, child or adult, that is 
baptized. When, on account of his conscientious objections to this 
and some other things in that church, he felt himself obliged to with- 
draw from it, he was led to examine the subject of baptism more faith- 
fully than he had ever done before; and afraid of precipitation, and 
having strong attachments drawing him in another direction, it was 
seven years before he connected himself with the Baptists. During 
this time he read most of the books of reputation on this controversy, 
and among others he took up with high expectation Wall's 'History 
of Infant Baptism,' a book which had the renown of proving so clearly 
the apostolic origin of that praeliee, that the author received for his 
performance the thanks of the British Parliament. So far from being 
made a convert to that doctrine by Wall's copious collection of pas- 
sages from the ancient authors, the inquirer's mind was rather estab- 
lished in the opposite belief, and he was furnished with a satisfactory 
solution for the origin and practice in the early prevalence of the per- 
suasion that unbaptlzed persons, whether infants or adults, could not 

There was no Baptist church in the village of Chapel Hill at 


this time, and Mr. Hooper went to a country church nearby, 
Mount Carmel, and received baptism at the hands of Rev. Patrick 
W. Dowd. He took an active interest in the work of the Bap- 
tist churches in North Carolina, especially in their educational 
enterprises. He at once began writing and speaking in the in- 
terest of general education, and a lecture that he delivered at 
Chapel Hill, June 20, 1832, on "The Imperfections of our Pri- 
mary Schools, and the Best Methods of Correcting Them," was 
widely circulated in the public prints, where it received much 
commendation, and was the same year printed and circulated in 
pamphlet form. On August 4th of the same year, William 
Hooper, William R. Hinton, and Grey Huckaby presented to 
the Baptist State Convention a report recommending "the estab- 
lishment of a Baptist literary institution in this State." This 
was the beginning of Wake Forest College, and the author of 
this report was William Hooper, at the time professor of andent 
languages in the University of North Carolina. 

In June, 1833, the University conferred on Mr. Hooper the de- 
gree of doctor of laws. In 1838 Dr. Hooper removed to South 
Carolina, and for two years taught theology in Furman Univer- 
sity at Greenville. His valedictory address at Chapel Hill wis 
published by the students of the University, and his inaugural 
discourse at Greenville was published by the trustees of FurmaiL 
In 1840 he became professor of Roman literature in South Caio- 
lina College, at Columbia, where he remained until called to tte 
presidency of Wake Forest College, N. C, in 1846. Wake Foi^ 
est was financially embarrassed, and Dr. Hooper soon discovered 
that he was not the man to get the institution out of trouble, ft 
wisely resigned in 1848, and with his son Thomas and his sot- 
in-law opened a select school near Littleton, N. C. In 1852 ke 
became pastor of the Baptist church at New Bern, from iHb4 
position he was called to the presidency of Chowan Baptist ft 
male Institute. Here he remained, doing excellent and co up aMl 
work for seven years. He disapproved of secession, and itttej 
beginning of the civil war had refused permission to the girislij 
hoist the Confederate flag over the institute building. ThisfimHf 


led to his resignation. He afterward taught in Fayetteville, and 
in 1867 became co-principal with his son Thomas and his son-in- 
law. Professor J. De Berniere Hooper, in a school for young 
women at Wilson. His sermons and addresses during all this 
time are marked by a clear and vigorous style combined with an 
easy g^ce, sparkling wit, and genial humor. One of his ser- 
mons, preached at Chapel Hill, on "The Force of Habit," has 
been reprinted five times, and as long as Governor Swain presided 
over the University, the last time he met each senior class before 
graduation, he would read to it that discourse. In 1857 the 
University of North Carolina conferred upon him the degree of 
doctor of divinity. 

The early death of Dr. Hooper's father saddened the boy, and 
the accidental killing of a young lady, his cousin, by the discharge 
of a neglected gun in the home of his uncle, while playing with 
some children, tinged his whole life with melancholy. Dr. Hooper 
did not share the strict communion views of most American Bap- 
tists, but took the position of Robert Hall that baptism was not a 
prerequisite to the communion. While he did not conceal the 
fact that he was personally an open communionist, he neverthe- 
less, for the sake of peace, held his views in abeyance, and did not 
practice open communion. 

Dr. Hooper died at Chapel Hill, where so much of his life had 
been spent, August 19, 1876, and is buried on the campus by the 
side of Dr. Joseph Caldwell, his honored stepfather, president of 
the University, and his mother, who was Mrs. Caldwell. 

Dr. Hooper's sons were William, Edward, Joseph (still living 
at Jacksonville, Fla.), Thomas, and DuPonceau. He had two 
daughters : one, Elizabeth Watters, the younger, unmarried ; the 
other, Mary Elizabeth, was married to her cousin, John De 
Berniere Hooper, professor in the University of North Carolina. 
All of the descendants of William Hooper, the signer, now liv- 
ing are descendants of the Rev. William Hooper, professor in 
the University of North Carolina. 

The writer of this article knew Dr. Hooper from his own 
earliest infancy to the great man's death, and promised in his 



boyhood to write this sketch. It has been prepared from data 
furnished by Dr. Hooper himself, by his daughter, Mrs. John 
De Berniere Hooper, and by his granddaughter, Mrs, Spier Whit- 
aker, as well as by the minutes of the Convention of the Protest- 
ant Episcopal Church in North Carolina, and the minutes of the 
Baptist State Convention. Recourse has also been had to the 
records of the University of North Carolina, and to the scrap- 
books of Dr. Hooper, Mrs. De Berniere Hooper, Mrs. Spier 
Whitaker, Rev. Needham B. Cobb, and the writer. Dr. Hooper's 
manuscript autobiography, written for his grandson, has also 
been of service to me. 

Collier Cobb. 

L-: ^ 


brother, and his patriot friends, Iredell and Johnston, he seems to 
have retained their love and confidence as a man of sincerity, up- 
rightness and courage of conviction. There was even genuine 
affection between him and his irascible father-in-law, Archibald 

To George Hooper and his wife, Katharine Maclaine ^ooper, 
one son was born, Archibald Maclaine Hooper, who was the 
father of John De Berniere Hooper, the subject of this sketch, a 
man of fine literary taste and ability, well known as a writer on 
historical subjects and a valued contributor to the Journals of 
his time. Archibald Maclaine Hooper married Charlotte, daugh- 
ter of Lieutenant-Colonel John De Berniere, an English gentleman 
of noble FrenchTHuguenot descent, who came to America in the 
latter part of the eighteenth century. 

Colonel De Berniere, a commissioned officer in the British 
army, had married near Belfast, Ireland, Miss Ann Jones, daugh- 
ter of Conway Jones, of Rosstrevor, and sister of Edward Jones, 
who afterward became solicitor general of North Carolina. This 
Jones family is directly descended from the celebrated English 
bishop Jeremy Taylor, and among its members are many who 
now occupy positions of trust and honor in England. 

When Edward Jones had decided to come to America, his 
brother-in-law and charming sister were easily influenced to fol- 
low him. There is a tradition in the family that the day that 
Colonel De Berniere threw up his position in the army, and be- 
fore his resignation was received at headquarters, he was ap- 
pointed by the British Government governor of Canada, Ws 
desire to remove to America having been known. As his 
resignation had been made, he thought it would be dishonor- 
able to accept the proffered appointment, which he accordinglj 

Jones and the De Bernieres came first to Philadelphia, where 
they achieved a brilliant success in business and in society, Ed- 
ward Jones receiving the soubriquet of "the elegant young Irish- 
man," and making many friends among distinguished men who 
adhered to him through life. But the brilliant young Irishman 


soon lan through all his money, besides making love to a beautiful 
giri, whose fallier forbade the niatcli, the lady djing of a broken 

Edward Jones and his brother-in-law then removed to Wil- 
mington, N. C, and finally settled in Chatham County. Jones 
studied law and soon became prominent in his profession, leading 
the Bar of the State and becoming its solicitor. He married 
Mary, oldest daughter of Peter Mallett, of Fayetteville, and set- 
tled at Rockrest, in Chatham County. Here he reared a large 
family and took charge of a number of orphans, children of his 
friends, bringing them up as his own. Among the number thus 
befriended was Captain Johnston Blakley, commander of the 
Wasp, who was lost at sea with his ship in 1814. 

The Dc Bemieres settled on Deep River not far from Rock- 
rest, and the family tradition is that Mrs, De Berniere pined 
away in her new home, unable to bear up under the prolonged 
homesickness for Rosstrcvor, in Ireland, where she had been 
brought up. Their house was burned down, and with it were lost 
all the family furniture, relics, and valuables brought over with 
them. After this they all moved to Charleston, S. C, where 
Colonel Dc Berniere died in 1812, and Mrs. De Berniere in 1821. 
The sons died early; the daughters married and remained in 
South Carolina, except Charlotte, who married, in 1806, Archi- 
bald Maclaine Hooper, of Wilmington, N. C, the father of John 
De Berniere Hooper, the subject of this sketch. Such are Mr. 
Hooper's forbears. 

John De Berniere Hooper was bom at Smithville, now South- 
port, N. C, September 6, 181 1. He received his early training in 
the schools of his native city, where he gave proofs of talent and 
industry. His kinswoman, Elizabeth Hooper, childless widow of 
Henry Watters, of Hillsboro, insisted on defraying the expenses 
of her talented young kinsman at the University of North Caro- 
lina, where he was graduated in 1831 with the Latin salutatory. 
He chose teaching as his profession, and made his degree of mas- 
ter of arts in 1834. His first experience in teaching was as tutor 
in the University from 183: to 1833. He then taught at Trinity 


Srhool, established near Raleigh by the Episcopal Diocese of 
North Carolina. 

On December 20, 1837, Mr. Hooper married his lovely young 
kinswoman, Mary Elizabeth Hooper, daughter of Rev. Dr. 
William Hooper, then professor of ancient languages in the Uni- 
versity. ** Forty-eight years of wedded happiness were theirs, 
secured by constant love, and by devotion to duty, and enhanced 
by all the charms that sympathetic tastes and principles in culture 
and religion can give to life." 

In 1838 Mr. Hooper became professor of Latin and French in 
the University of North Carolina. He remained at the Univer- 
sity until 1848, when he resigned his professorship and removed 
to Warren County, where he opened a private school for boys. 
In i860 he, with his brother-in-law, Thomas C. Hooper, took 
charge of the Fayetteville Female Academy. In 1866 he became 
associate principal with the same of the Wilson Female Institute, 
and remained there for nine years. On the reorganization of the 
University in 1875, Professor Hooper was elected to the chair of 
the Greek and French languages, and returned to Chapel Hill 
after an absence of twenty-seven years, "rejoicing to assist in the 
rehabilitation of his alma mater, devoting the last years of his 
life to her service with all the generous enthusiasm of his early 

One who knew him throughout his entire life has written of 

"In all these changes Professor Hooper's record will be found un- 
changing, except as he advanced with the times in the knowledge of 
his profession, and as his studies still further enlarged and refined his 

"Among the young ladies of his school he was regarded with en- 
thusiastic admiration and devotion. Always and everywhere the 
perfect gentleman in his address, it was once said of him that he had 
probably never had a thought even that he needed to be ashamed of. 
His gentle and generous manliness, his chivalrous courtesy, and his 
delicate consideration for others rendered him peculiarly fit to be the 
guardian of young girls." 

Among men, his colleagues in the University, and the young 


men whom he taught, he was held in reverent affection, as one 
who walked visibly in the footsteps of the Great Teacher. 

"But with all his courtesy and mildness, he was an excellent dis- 
ciplinarian, always firm and perfectly fearless in the discharge of duty. 
He was eminently a man to be relied upon. The delicacy and ele- 
^nce of his personal appearance would have misled any man who pre- 
sumed to infer anything of effeminacy or weakness in him. A flash of 
satiric wit, keen as a rapier, would occasionally show how strongly his 
high spirit and discernment of folly were kept in check by his charity. 
His sense of humor imparted a fine relish to his conversation." 

Professor Hooper was for many years a devout worshiper in 
the Protestant Episcopal Church, where his usefulness and liber- 
ality were very great, and where his punctual attendance and de- 
light in her services were an example. Few appeals for either 
public or private benefactions were disregarded, for his liberality 
was bounded only by his means. He was a man of marked filial 
piety, and his aged parents made their home with him for many 
years. The devoted wife and sharer of his joys and labors en- 
tered into rest June 23, 1894. Four children of their union now 
survive : Helen, widow of the late James Wills ; Fanny, who mar- 
ried Judge Spier Whitaker, now deceased; Henry De Berniere, 
who married Miss Jessie Wright, and Julia, wife of the late Pro- 
fessor Ralph H. Graves, of the University of North Carolina. 

Professor Hooper died at Chapel Hill, January 23, 1886, loved 
and regretted by all who knew him. 

Collier Cobb, 


5 HOUGH the untimely death of UeutenaDt 
^ Charles Hoskins at the battle of Monterey in 
' Mexico cut short his military career before he 
' had attained high command in the army, his 
^ name deserves to rank on history's page among 
I the bravest and best of North Carolina's gifts 
to the Nation. 

Lieutenant Hoskins was bom in the year iSiSatEdenton, in the 
county of Chowan, His paternal ancestors came originally from 
Wales, but records of the old colonial precinct of Chowan show 
that members of the family were settled in North Carolina for 
some years prior to 1700. One of this name (and doubtless of 
the same family) was a member of the Virginia house of bur- 
gesses as early as 1649, representing Lower Norfolk County, 
which bordered on the colonial county of Albemarle in North 
Carolina, before that section was divided into the several counties 
which now lie in the territory it formerly occupied. 

The Hoskins family of Edenton was one of pronuaence and 
approved patriotism in colonial and Revolutionary times. Its 
members were adherents of the Church of England ; and one of 
these, Richard Hoskins, was a member of the vestry of St. Paul's 
Church at Edenton when that body patriotically seconded the 
action of the North Carolina Provincial Congress in its efforts 
for independence. The wife of Richard Hoskins also deserves to 


be held in remembrance as a member of the company of ladies 
who held the famous "Eldenton Tea Party." 

The father of Lieutenant Hoskins was James Hoskins, and his 
mother was Miss Alexander prior to her marriage. James was 
the son of Thomas Hoskins and his wife, Mary Roberts, 

Lieutenant Hoskins was one of a large family of children, but 
nearly all of his brothers and sisters died comparatively young, 
though several were married. 

Charles Hoskins, our present subject, received his early educa- 
tion at the Edenton Academy, and one of his schoolmates at that 
institution, Colonel Richard Benbury Creecy, still survives, being 
considerably upward of ninety years old. While editing the 
Economist, a newspaper at Elizabeth City, in 1902, Colonel Creecy 
published in his issues of July iSlh and August 22d some reminis- 
cences of his old schoolmate and his characteristics, saying: 
■■ 'Charlie' was as bright as a new gold dollar, a master of ridicule 
and lease, and full of fight and fun. Hoskins' passion for humor 
was a trait that ran through his life." 

On receiving from the Hon, William Biddle Shepard, member 
of Congress from the Edenton district, an appointment as cadet 
in the United States Military Academy at West Point, young 
Hoskins entered that institution and graduated in the class of 
1836. The dates of his several commissions in the army are as 
follows: brevet second lieutenant Fourth infantry, July i, 1836; 
second lieutenant in same, September 13, 1836; first lieutenant 
December 30, 1838; regimental adjutant from September 10, 
1845, until his death on September 21, 1846. 

During the ten years of his army life, Lieutenant Hoskins saw 
much active service even before the war with Mexico. He took 
part in operations against Indians, and was quartermaster un- 
der Generals Scott and Wool when the Cherokee Nation was 
removed to the Indian Territory, 

At St. Louis, in March, 1845, while stationed at Jefferson Bar- 
racks near that city. Lieutenant Hoskins was united in marriage 
with Miss Jennie Deane, daughter of Major John Deane, of New 
Rochelle, N, Y., then temporarily residing in St. Louis. This lady 


returned to New Rochelle after her husband's death. She sur- 
vived him many years, dying on January 6, 1899. The married 
life of Lieutenant Hoskins covered a period of less than two years. 
He left an only son, John Deane Charles Hoskins, who served 
during his early youth in the New York Volunteers during the 
was between the states, later being appointed a cadet at West 
Point and graduating in the class of 1868. He afterward entered 
the regular army and is now a colonel of artillery. 

While at Jefferson Barracks, Lieutenant Hoskins formed a 
warm friendship with Ulysses S. Grant, then a young lieutenant. 
In his work entitled "From Manassas to Appomatox," General 
Longstreet (who was also then at Jefferson Barracks) alludes to 
the lady who afterward became Mrs. Grant, saying: "Miss Dent 
was a frequent visitor at the garrison balls and hops, where Lieu- 
tenant Hoskins, who was something of a tease, would inquire of 
her if she could tell where he might find *the small lieutenant with 
the large epaulettes/ " 

During the war with Mexico, Adjutant Hoskins served in the 
Army of Occupation under General Taylor. He fought with dis- 
tinguished bravery at Resaca de la Palma, Palo Alto, and else- 
where, and was killed (being shot through the heart) at Monterey 
on September 21, 1846. A description of the death of Lieutenant 
Hoskins is given by General Grant in his "Personal Memoirs," 
where he describes the assault on Monterey, saying : 

"I was, I believe, the only person in the Fourth infantry in the 
charge who was on horseback. When we got to a place of safety the 
regiment halted and drew itself together— what was left of it. The 
adjutant of the regiment, Lieutenant Hoskins, who was not in robust 
health, found himself very much fatigued from running on foot in the 
charge and retreat, and, seeing me on horseback, expressed a wish that 
he could be mounted also. I offered him my horse and he accepted 
the offer. A few minutes later I saw a soldier, a quartermaster's man, 
mounted not far away. I ran to him, took his horse, and was back 
with the regiment in a few minutes. In a short time we were off 
again; and the next place of safety from the shots of the enemy, that 
I recollect of being in, was a field of cane or corn to the northeast of 
the lower batteries. The adjutant to whom I had loaned my horse 
was killed, and I was designated to act in his place." 


The death of Lieutenant Hoskins caused deep regret, not only 
in his native State, but throughout the Nation. The National In- 
telligencer, of Washington City, contained a tribute of him which 
was republished in the Raleigh Register on November 3, 1846, as 
follows : 

"Lietttenant Hoskins possessed a quick and sagacious intellect; he 
cherished a high and nice sense of honor, and was remarkable for the 
generosity and chivalry of his character, and for those winning traits 
which ever secured the regard and respect of those with whom he 

In the Laws of North Carolina for 1846-47, p. 242, will be 
found a series of resolutions adopted by the General Assembly of 
the State on January 2, 1847, relative to North Carolinians in 
general who fought at Monterey, and it refers in particular to 
Lieutenant Hoskins, as follows: 

"Resolved FtntTHEK, That this General Assembly have Iteard with un- 
feigned sorrow of the death of Lieutenant Charles Hoskins, a native 
of this State, who was killed at the siege of Monterey, in Mexico, while 
gallantly fighting the battles of his country; and that this General As- 
sembly hereby tenders to the bereaved family of Lieutenant Hoskins 
its deepest sympathy and condolence on this afflictive event; 

"Resolved further, That a copy of this resolution be transmitted by 
His Excellency the Governor to the family of the late Lieutenant Hos- 

The death of Lieutenant Hoskins occurred at the early age of 
twenty-eight. His remains were carried back to Jefferson Bar- 
racks, Missouri, and there interred in the burial ground which has 
since been converted into a National Cemetery, A marble slab 
has been placed over his resting-place, and this memorial is still 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 

^ " , • u^ 

• * '• » k> 



3 son of Samuel Love, of Staunton, Va., and his wife, Dorcas 
Bell, a daughter of one of the colonial governors of that common- 
wealth, and whose family was known and distinguished for intel- 
iigence and high moral character. Samuel Love himself was a 
patriot officer during the Revolution and was esteemed by his as- 
sociates for his sterling worth and fine personal qualities. Rob- 
ert, the father of Mrs. Gudger, was reared in the same family in 
which the blind preacher, James Wadde!!, famous for his elo- 
quence and revered for his godliness, received his training, and he 
enjoyed advantages that developed alike his mental powers and 
social characteristics. Both daughter and granddaughter per- 
petuated those agreeable qualities that have always made the 
Loves charming in the family and social circle. 

Sprung from such stock and reared amid such influences, 
Thomas D. Johnston began his life under most favorable condi- 
tions. When a boy, he attended the common schools of his native 
county until 1853, when he was placed in the school of Colonel 
Stephen Lee, near Asheville, for preparation for college. After 
remaining with Colonel Lee for four years he entered the State 
LTniversily and was admitted to the sophomore class, but on ac- 
count of failing health he was compelled to discontinue his col- 
legiate course and leave the University before the end of the ses- 
sion. When the dark days of civil war came upon the country 
young Johnston was among the first to volunteer in the defense of 
his native State. He entered the army in May, 1861, in the Four- 
teenth North Carolina regiment, in the company of which the 
Hon. Z. B. Vance was captain. On a reorganization of the com- 
pany he was elected lieutenant, and afterward was detailed by 
Colonel P. W. Roberts as adjutant of the regiment. At the battle 
of Malvern Hill, while on the staff of Colonel Roberts, he re- 
ceived three severe wounds, which long confined him to his bed, 
and from which he came near losing his life. While disabled 
from those wounds for field service, he was detailed as captain 
quartermaster, and while serving in this capacity in the Valley of 
\'irginia he again lost his health and had to be sent home to re- 


After the war he studied law under Judge Bailey and his son, 
W. H. Bailey, at Black Mountain, N. C, and was admitted to the 
Bar in 1867. In 1868, he was nominated by the Democratic 
party for solicitor of his district, but was counted out by General 
Canby, who, under the reconstruction laws, then held the reins of 
government in North Carolina. In 1869 he was elected mayor of 
Asheville, and was the first Democratic mayor of the town after 
the war. In 1870 he was brought forward as the Democratic 
nominee for representative of the county of Buncombe in the 
legislature, and by an unusually brilliant and aggressive cam- 
paign redeemed the county for the Democracy by a majority of 
nearly five hundred votes over the same Republican candidate 
who was elected in 1868 by a Republican majority of nearly three 
hundred. This, perhaps, was the turning point in his life. 

That Assembly was one of the most important in the history 
of the State. It followed swiftly the evil day of Republican mis- 
rule during the period of Reconstruction. In that era of corrup- 
tion, the treasury had been pillaged and the credit of the State 
destroyed, the railroad companies had been bankrupted and rail- 
road construction had ceased, the courts had fallen into disrepute, 
the University and the public schools were closed, and throughout 
the central portion of the State the echoes of the Holden-Kirk 
war were still resounding, exciting popular clamor and hot indig- 

The questions to be dealt with were novel, and of the highest 
consequence to the i)eople of the State. The old leaders, the 
trained statesmen of the past, had been retired, and the Assembly 
was largely composed of young men, junior officers under Jackson 
and Lee, whose natural courage had been strengthened and height- 
ened by their association with their heroic companions in arms. 
But few had had any legislative experience. But what was lack- 
ing in experience was supplied by their earnest, sober spirit and 
their lofty patriotism. 

Mr. Johnston at once commanded the respect of his fellow- 
members. His earnestness, no less than his zeal and talents, im- 
pressed the entire body. He was equaled by few in attention to 


details. Essentially he was a man of business. With a liberal 
mind and broad views, he was attentive to the interest of the 
whole State, but in particular was he zealous in devising and pro- 
moting measures beneficial to western North Carolina. The 
mountains never gave birth to a truer son than Thomas D. John- 
ston. His legal ability and comprehensive grasp of public mat- 
ters found recognition in his appointment to the chairmanship of 
the house branch of the committee on constitutional reform, while 
he was assigned, also, to the third place in both the judiciary and 
finance conunittees. On both of these he rendered essential ser- 
vice, but few members equaling him in indefatigable labor, in 
careful analysis, and in thoughtful work. He joined in reporting 
to the house the resolutions impeaching Governor Holden, and 
he received the honorable distinction of being one of the seven 
members chosen by a vote of the house to conduct the manage- 
ment of that great state case. At that time the sessions ran from 
November to April of each year ; and during these two long ses- 
sions, Mr, Johnston, ever alive to the interests of the people. 
transacted a vast amount of public business. Particularly should 
it be recalled that the finance committee, of which he was a pains- 
taking and laborious member, after reforming the tax laws and 
re-establishing the good name of the State, prepared a bill that 
passed the house, for the settlement of the state debt, similar to 
the act under which the debt was eventually settled; but the 
horse bill failed to pass the senate. 

Mr. Johnston's service in that notable assembly was so con- 
spicuous as to gain him great applause, and at the next election 
he was a<jain chosen to the legislature by an increased majority 
over Major Marcus Erwin, one of the most popular and brilhanf 
men, not only within the Republican party, but within the borders 
of North Carolina. In 1874 he was again nominated by the 
Democracy for the legislature, hut private business called him 
from politics and he was forced to decline the nomination. In 
1876, when a special gloom hung over the railroad interests in the 
West and it seemed as if the transmontane section of the State 
was forever cut off from commercial intercourse with the outside 


world, Johnston was again brought forward and nominated iot 
senator from the counties of Buncombe and Madison, as the 
champion of a policy for the early completion of the Western 
North Carolina Railroad ; and, as formerly, he made a vigorous 
and brilliant campaign for the party and in the interest of the 
completion of the Western North Carolina Railroad, insisting that 
the State should make appropriations of convicts and of money 
for the building of the road, and on that platform was trium- 
phantly elected by far the largest majority the district has ever 
given to any candidate. 

While in the senate he drafted, introduced, and advocated to 
its passage the bill which gave to the Western North Carolina 
Railroad that aid and impetus which led to its completion, and the 
phenomenal development of the entire transmontane section of 
the State. In 1882 his law business becoming extensive, he 
formed a partnership with the writer of this sketch which re- 
sulted in ties of the closest and warmest friendship, ripening as 
the years passed into the highest mutual regard and affection, and 
continuing until the day of his death. 

Having served so well in the Assembly, his friends now desired 
to transfer Mr. Johnston to Congress, and in 1884 he was nomi- 
nated for Congress by the largest and one of the most intelligent 
and representative Democratic conventions that ever assembled 
in the district. His campaign was one of the most vigorous and 
aggressive ever made in this State, and his election over his oppo- 
nent, Hon. Hamilton G. Ewart, was triumphant. His election 
was a decisive and important victory for the Democracy, as the 
Republican party concentrated all its resource against him to se- 
cure his defeat. 

Two years later he was renominated by acclamation by a large 
and enthusiastic convention, and was again elected over his oppo- 
nent, Major W. H. Malone, by an increased majority. In 1888, 
he was again renominated by acclamation. But conditions now 
were entirely different. Hamilton G. Ewart, who differed in 
some particulars of importance with the Republican leaders, was 
again a candidate, and circumstances conspired to render him a 


very formidable opponent. Besides, the session of Congress was 
prolonged far into the fall, and Mr. Johnston, being detained at 
Washington, was unable to participate in the work of the cam- 
paign. On his return home in October, he saw that the battle 
was already lost, and that victory could be obtained only in one 
way — the expenditure of money among the floating voters of the 
district. But not to avert disaster would he consent that a single 
dollar should be used to purchase a vote. He preferred tiie mor- 
tification of going down in defeat to sacrificing his moral prin- 
ciples in a political contest. His spotless life was unstained by 
any moral delinquency. As he foresaw, the election went against 
him, although his vote was the largest he had ever received, and 
was several hundred in excess of that given for the popular candi- 
date for the presidency, Grover Cleveland. 

The congressional career of Mr. Johnston was a most honorable 
one. He was faithful to all his duties, able and earnest in advo- 
cating the interests of his constituents, irrespective of party in- 
fluences; just, impartial, and intelligent, but as a member of the 
Democratic party, true to his allegiance to its lofty principles, and 
fearless and faithful in his antagonism to what he conceived to 
be the detrimental and sectional policy of the opposition. No 
man ever had the interests of those whom he represented more 
closely to heart, and no man ever pressed to consideration with 
more urgent zeal and industry claims or measures entrusted to his 
advocacy. The Republican as well as the Democratic suitor for 
justice or relief was equally sure of impartial, sympathetic, zealous 
labor in his behalf. The pension claimant, the applicant for en- 
larged mail facilities, equally with the sufferer under the oppres- 
sion of the internal revenue laws, always found in Mr. Johnston 
a ready and efficient friend ; and to his persistent energy 
the people of Asheville and of western North Carolina owe the 
legislation which secured to this section a Federal public 

Captain Johnston's public career ceased at the expiration of his 
congressional term. He subsequently appeared before the public 
only on one occasion. Because of some alleged technicality, it 


was proposed to repudiate the bonds issued by Buncombe County 
in aid of the construction of the Spartansburg and Asheville Rail- 
road. He would have profited largely as a taxpayer by extin- 
guishing that county obligation ; but he scorned the meanness of 
such a transaction. He resolutely and vigorously opposed the 
breach of faith and urged a strict and honorable discharge of the 

But although no longer a candidate for the applause and suf- 
frages of the people, his daily life touched the public interests at 
many points. In the discharge of his civic and private duties he 
gave to the world an example of uprightness, integrity, justice, 
and fidelity to duty worthy of the emulation of all men. A man 
of business sagacity and inheriting an ample estate, he managed 
his affairs with skill and ability, and by judicious investments 
greatly increased and multiplied his inheritance. His wealth was 
not idle capital, but an instrument for the improvement of his 
beloved city, and a number of the most substantial business blocks 
of Asheville to-day stand as monuments of his enterprise, taste, 
and judgment. A man of large business views, and of restless 
energy he became the exponent of the charactertistic enterprise 
of his city, which so quickly emerged from the obscurity of a 
mountain village into the fame of a metropolis. He rose with 
its fortunes, and with its success his name must ever be in- 
separably associated. 

In 1879 he married Miss Leila Bobo, a daughter of Mr. Simp- 
son Bobo, a prominent lawyer of Spartanburg, S. C. There was 
never a happier marriage. Throughout their lives they remained 
lovers, while the excellence and worth of Mrs. Johnston endeared 
her to all who knew her. A key to her life may be found in an 
expression she once made use of, "Religion is the simplest thing 
in the world." With her it was — and she enjoyed without inter- 
rnption that "peace that passeth understanding." For some 
years before his death Mr. Johnston fell into ill health and was 
a great sufferer ; and the unceasing and devoted ministrations of 
his faithful wife led to the impairment of her own health. In 
March, 1902, she passed away, and on June 22d following, Mr. 


Johnston joined her beyond the grave. Both were mourned by a 
large circle of devoted kinspeople and friends. 

In an address before the Ear of Asheville, Mr. John P. Arthur 
after dweUing on his public career, remarked of Mr. Johnston, 
[hat he was ever a loyal friend, and "was a most companionable 
man, a good neighbor, a kind and considerate host and a public- 
spirited, law-abiding citizen." He was a modest man, and in his 
own way he was a charitable man, but he did "not his alms be- 
fore men to be seen of them," "He educated more young men 
than any other man of whom I have knowledge." "While he was 
ID Congress he had no less than four young men in college at his 
expense, and not a whisper of it was allowed to escape to the 
public." "He was a great favorite in that small social circle 
which was so delightful in Asheville before Asheville took on the 
proportions of a city, and was always the life of any gathering 
in which he happened to be. His wit and humor were bright and 
sparkling, and many of his bonmots are still remembered and 
repeated by those who knew him best. He was the soul of honor 
and his word was even better than his bond, which every one 
knows was as good as gold." Mr. Johnston left but two chil- 
dren : Leila Maie and Sarah Eugenia. 

George A. Skuford. 

. \ N ^ 



niece of Richard Henderson, who was provincial judge before the 
Revolution and the leader in settling Kentucky. 

Inheriting from both sides of his family unusual mental en- 
dowments, the subject of this sketch had a natural aptitude for 
his studies, and was well prepared for college by Professor Ben- 
jamin Sumner, near SaHsbury. He entered the University in 
1854 and graduated in 1858, having studied law while at Chapel 
Hill under Judge Battle. Admitted to practice in 1S59, he 
located at Salisbury, naturally allying himself with his father's 
friends, who were opposed to the Democratic party and still called 
themselves Whigs. 

Bright, well educated, forceful and th ily c 
he at once entered politics and was nomi ed by 
for the house of commons, but was ed, 

tial election of i860, he warmly advoca t 3t 

Everett, making strong appeals for t I a 

posing the election of the Democratic i 

But when the crisis of April, 1861, t a 

of the State, he did not hesitate to ip a 

He organized a company at Sa ury calli 

which was speedily ordered to form a 1 t ot t garr Ot 

Fort Caswell, which had been seized by the Wilmington com- 
panies. Upon the organization of the state troops the Rowan 
Rifles became Company K of the Fifth regiment, his commissign 
as captain dating May 16, 1861. The Fifth regiment, under its 
brave and brilliant colonel, Duncan K. MacRae, was in the ad- 
vance in pursuing the Federal forces from the battlefield of First 
Manassas, and upoti the advance of McClellan was among the 
first to join General Magruder near Yorktown, It participated 
in the battle of Williamsburg, where Captain Jones was severely 

On the formation of the Fifty-seventh regiment, so high was the 
reputation he had won by his early service, that he was appointed 
its lieutenant-colonel, and his subsequent military career was in 
connection with that organization. It became attached to Law's 
brigade of Hood's division, and its charge at the battle of Freder- 


icksburg on the Federal troops who had effected a lodgment in 
the railroad cut at Hazel Run is historic. The struggle, which 
lasted about twenty-five minutes, was so murderous that 250 of 
the Fifty-seventh regiment lay stretched upon the plain, while the 
loss of the New Jersey troops, whom it assailed, was much 
greater. The Fifty-seventh fought under the eye of General Lee, 
and he repaid them with a flattering notice in an order issued the 
next day. Engaged in many battles subsequent to this first en- 
counter on a field of carnage, the regiment had no greater trial 
than befell it upon this threshold of its experience. On Novem- 
ber 7, 1863, at Rappahannock River, where the Orange and Alex- 
andria Railroad crosses it, General Hoke's brigade, to which the 
Fifty-seventh had been transferred, was entirely cut off and a 
struggle lasting all day resulted in the capture of nearly all the 
brigade. On that occasion Colonel Jones shared the fate of his 
comrades, and was imprisoned in the Old Capitol Prison and sub- 
sequently, on Johnson's Island in Lake Erie. It was here that 
the officers, who were taken prisoners, were, for the most part, 
confined. Colonel Jones was exchanged in February, 1865, ^tfid 
then took command of his regiment as colonel. He found it in 
command of Captain Philip Carpenter and very much reduced in 
strength. On the morning of March 25th, Colonel Jones was 
summoned to General Walker's headquarters and was directed to 
take two regiments and make an attack on Fort Stedman. He 
chose his own regiment and the gallant Sixth, then under the 
command of Colonel Samuel McDowell Tate. Fort Stedman 
was protected by heavy abatis, but Colonel Jones' force captured 
it after a sharp assault ; but it could not be held. Colonel Jones 
was wounded on this occasion, and was not able to rejoin his 
regiment during the remainder of the war. 

When peace came, he resumed the practice of the law at Salis- 
bury, but in 1867 moved to Charlotte, where he formed a law 
partnership with General Robert D. Johnston, which continued 
for nearly twenty years. He took a lively interest in whatever 
related to the public concerns of his community, and for a short 
time he and General Johnston edited a daily newspaper called the 


dtarlotte Nezvs. He was an ardent Democrat, and during the 
reconstruction period was very active as a politician. Upon the 
death of Judge Osborne in the fall of 1869, he was elected to fill 
out his unexpired term as a Democratic senator from Mecklen- 
burg County, and he was again elected to the state senate in 1870. 
At that election the Democrats obtained possession of both houses 
of the legislature, and those sessions were very important in 
their results. Colonel Jones found in the Assembly many men 
who had served with him in the army, and he at once took a prom- 
inent and influential part in the legislative proceedings. That 
was one of the most interesting periods in the history of the 
State, and Colonel Jones was a wise and resolute actor, leaving 
his impress on public affairs and exerting an influence that re- 
sulted in great benelits to the people. He was long chairman of 
the Democratic executive committee of Mecklenburg County, and 
by his conservative management established his party securely in 
power in that county. In 1885 Mr. Cleveland appointed him 
United States district attorney for the Western district, and for 
four years he filled that office with remarkable ability and great 
acceptability. In 1873 he married Miss Sophia Convere Myers, 
daughter of Colonel William R. Myers, of Charlotte, N. C, and 
their union was blessed with six children. 

Early in life Colonel Jones had become a communicant of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church and held many positions of respon- 
sibility in that denomination, being for many years one of the 
wardens in the church at Charlotte. 

His faculties were of a high order and his reasoning powers 
were almost unsurpassed. His literary attainments were excep- 
tional and his familiarity with history and with the classics, es- 
pecially the more celebrated Latin authors, excited the wonder 
and admiration of those who enjoyed the privilege of intimate 
association with him. In his home, wrote Mr. Wade Harris, of 
the Charlotte Chronicle: 

"He was husband, father, counsellor, comrade, and playmate. The 
(tress and toil of his professional life never marred the acts and asso- 
ciations of home. A wonderful gentleness stamped every home 


thought and was breathed out in every utterance in the midst of bis 
loved ones and friends." 

Colonel Jones was not merely a fine lawyer and a man of fine 
characteristics, but he was exceptional both in his profession and 
in social life. It is to be regretted that the circumstances which 
have surrounded southern men have debarred so many from 
adorning places of high trust and responsibility in the affairs of 
their country. Had it been otherwise, Colonel Jones could have 
filled high positions with advantage to the people of every section 
of the United States. 

In August, 1887, Colonel Jones formed a law partnership with 
Charles W. Tillett, Esq., which lasted until his death, August 23, 
1904. The year before his death the Bar Association of North 
Carolina elected him the president of that body, a compliment 
richly merited, for he had always been an honor to the profession 
and was generally esteemed in those last days of his life as the 
best loved lawyer of the State. 

No truer nor more beautiful tribute has ever been paid the 
memory of Colonel Jones than that of his friend, Judge James C. 
MacRae, when, as editor of the North Carolina Journal of Law, 
he writes : 

"This distinguished lawyer, who, through all his manhood, illw- 
trated the virtues of one bred to the profession which, above aU 
others, makes men for the occasion. /Was deep learning in the law, 
was devotion to his client and faith in his cause and ability and coot- 
age needed, he was sought and found. Was it in the halls of legisla- 
tion, when cool heads and sound judgment and unflinching courage 
were called for, he was in his place. And further, was it when human 
liberty was in danger, or constitutional rights involved, he was first 
among the foremost. We were privileged to witness his absolute 
courage in the face of death on the battlefield. 

"Again we have seen him an actor in the most important impeach- 
ment trial ever had in North Carolina, at a time when high moral 
courage was as much required as in the face of the enemy. And we 
have been greatly aided by him in the trial of many a cause, as the 
wise counsellor and courageous advocate, for it was our experience in 
the courts where he practiced law, he was engaged in every important 



"In the church of which he was a member and officer, he was hum- 
ble and lowly and reverent. In the social circle, among his brethren 
and friends, he was without a superior in gentleness and wit and 
humor. Everywhere he was a knightly gentleman, full of courtesy 
and grace. 

"We have emphasized the word courage through it all, because in 
all places and at all times it was his; not bravado nor recklessness, 
but high-born courage born of a sublime sense of duty." 

Charles W. Tillett. 


! MONG the patriots who bore an honorable part 
1 shaping our State's policy in halls of legis- 
lation, and by fighting for her independence ca 
the field of battle during the war of the Revolu- 
) tion, was Gideon Lamb, colonel of the Sixth 
regiment of North Carolina troops in the Con- 
tinental Line, and a citizen of the county of Currituck. This 
gentleman was of New England nativity and ancestry, and was 
born on February 20, 1740. 

The first one of Colonel Lamb's ancestors who settled in 
America was Thomas Lamb, who was born in England, came to 
New England with the colonists of Governor Winthrop in 1630. 
took the oath as a freeman of the colony of Massachusetts Bay 
on May 18, 1631, was one of the founders of Roxbury, and died 
on January 28, 1646. He was accompanied on his voya^ to 
America by his first wife, Elizabeth, and his two sons, Thomas 
and John. After his arrival another son, Samuel, was bom bj 
his first wife. This first wife having died, he was married on 
July 16, 1640 to Dorothy Harbittle. This lady had four chOdTtn, 
and left numerous descendants. Her children were Caleb, Joshua, 
Mary, and Abiel Lamb. John Lamb, a son as above mentioned, 
of Thomas Lamb's first marriage, was a citizen of Massachusetts, 
and died on September 28, 1690, leaving a son, Samuel, born Sep- 
tember 28, 1663. One of Samuel's sons was Thomas Lamb, 


m on January 31, 1702, who married Sarah Beckwith. He 
ed near Springfield, Mass. Selling his land there about the 
ar 1734 he removed to the vicinity of Salisbury, Conn., where 
i sons were bom. He later came to Currituck County, N, C, 
is sons were Luke, born January 17, 1734; Abner, born 1736; 
aac, born February, 1738, and Gideon (subject of this sketch), 
tio, as already stated, was born February 20, 1740. Thomas 
imb also left several daughters. One of these married General 
aac Gregory, and another became the wife of Colonel Peter 
auge. Both General Gregory and Colonel Dauge were officers 
the Revolution, 

When the Provincial Convention of North Carolina assembled 
Hillsboro in August, 1775, Gideon Lamb was one of its mem- 
:rs, representing the county of Currituck. This body, which 
intinued its session into the following month, elected him a 
ember of the Committee of Safely for the Edenton district on 
eptember gih. In the Provincial Congress at Halifax in 
pril, 1776. he was again a delegate. On April 15th this Hali- 
Lx congress proceeded to raise additional regiments for the 
ontinental service. The field officers of the Sixth regiment be- 
g chosen as follows : Alexander Lillington, colonel ; William 
aylor. lieutenant-colonel: and Gideon Lamb, major. On De- 
rmber 31, 1776, Colonel Lillington resigned from the Conti- 
;ntal Line, later becoming brigadier -general of militia, and 
[ajor Lamb became licntcnant-colonel of the Sixth continentals 
I March, 1777. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to the full 
ink of colonel, and as such commanded the Sixth regiment. The 
■giments organized in May, 1776 were brigaded at Wilmington 
I the summer of that year, and first assigned to the command of 
eneral James Moore and later to that of General Francis Nash, 
he brigade remained about Wilmington until November, 1776, 
hen being ordered to Join Washington, it marched to Halifax, 
here, howcvi-r. orders were received to rccnforce the troops de- 
•nding Georgia. On reaching Charleston Colonel Lamb was sta- 
aned at Haddrell's Point, where the brigade remained until 
[arch, 1777. when it was again ordered to the North. Washing- 


ton's army was on the Jersey side of Delaware River at Middle 
brook when the North Carolinians joined it. And they were given 
**a salutation of thirteen cannons, each fired thirteen times." 
Early in July the North Carolinians together with some other 
troops were employed in completing the fortifications on the Dela- 
ware River. 

Colonel Lamb was in nearly all of the battles of that period 
and was one of the North Carolina officers who, on August I4i 
1777, signed a protest at Trenton, N. J., against a Pennsylvanian 
(Colonel Edward Hand) being promoted to the rank of brigadier- 
general and assigned to the command of North Carolina troops 
to supply the vacancy by the loss of General James Moore, who 
had died April 15, 1777. 

In the spring of 1779 Colonel Lamb was at Charlotte on ^^ 
cruiting duty, and rendered valuable services in organizing the 
men of General John Butler's brigade of North Carolina militia. 
In the following summer he was in eastern North Carolina at 
Kingston (now Kinston) endeavoring to procure proper cqmp- 
ment for the troops which had been enlisted. 

As the North Carolina Continental troops had been terribly 
reduced by battle and disease, and as the greater part of their 
number were captives in Charleston, the Continental reg^ents of 
the state were rearranged in January, 1781, and quite a number 
of officers, including Colonel Lamb, were placed on waiting orders 
on half pay. The officers so mustered out, however, did not r^ 
main idle, but made use of their military experience by training 
the state troops and militia as far as permitted to do so. About 
this time Colonel Lamb's health began to break down, but be 
determined to remain in the field as long as able. On May 28, 
1781, he wrote from Edenton to General Sumner: "This is the 
first time I have been able to ride any distance, having come here 
this morning." On the 22d of the following July he wrote Sum- 
ner from the home of Colonel Philemon Hawkins in Warren 
County, saying: 

"I have with much difficulty and no small expense come on this ftf 
tolerably well equipped in order to take the field, expecting to have the 


mmand of a. regiment. I should think it certainly kind of you to inform 
B by a line as soon as convenient the nature of tny present station, re- 
ecting the army, in consequence of my being reduced by the arrangement 
last January, and whether I am liable to be called on duty at any time 
ortly or not, for it is not only expensive and very disagreeable, but a 
eat disadvantage, 10 me to remain under my present situation. It seems 
be neither in the service nor out of it, and puts it quite out of my power 
attend to public or private business." In deep perplexity. Colonel Lamb 
Ids: "Pray, let me know who, what, and where I am," 

Shortly after the above letter was written an attack of fever 
■Qved too much for the war-worn frame of ColtMiel Lamb, and 
: died on November 8, 1781, The maiden name of his wife 
as Mary Burgess. His son, Lieutenant Abner Lamb (also a 
□ntinental officer), wrote General Sumner an account of this 
'cnt on December isth, saying: 
"As my father is just dead, it is with great regret I 

inform your Honor that it my wound w< 1 p ait (i l 

will not for some time) 'twill not be ) er to ji yi p 

r eight or ten months. Having be on by s 

ecutor of his estate, which is in so con 

Dger than I expect He was confinea to his re e oy 

ver. which carried him off this unhappy stage ot iite, ' nove er 1 

it. to (I hope) some of those celestial and blessed aoodes filled witn 

those pleasing and delightful scenes that tend to immortal happiness, 
epared for the reception of true patriots." 

Lieutenant Abner Lamb was a young boy when the war was in 
i early stages, Colonel Gideon Lamb then referring to him as 
ny little son." But the youthful patriot soon found his way into 
le Continental army. In the spring of 1781 his father wrote 
cm Edenton : "Abner Lamb is here on duty as a cadet in the 
^ond regiment, and is the eldest cadet in the line of the State." 

On June 1, 1781, Abner Lamb was commissioned lieutenant in 
e First North Carolina Continental regiment. A few months 
ter (September 8lh) he fought with distinguished bravery at the 
,ttle of Eutaw Springs, and was badly wounded in that action, 
e died unmarried. 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 


" of the Seventeenth North Carolina r^ 
' ment in the Confederate army, who fell fighting 
for southern independence in the war U- 
\ tween ihe states, was born in Camden Countj", 
N. C, December zi, 1836. He was of the same 
family as Colonel Gideon Lamb, of the Sixth North Carolina 
Coiititienlal regiment, whose history is set forth in the preceding 
sketch. Luke Lamb, eldest brother of Colonel Gideon Lamb of 
the Revolution, had a son also named Gideon, who married las 
cousin, Mary Lamb, and was a state senator in 1810, rep^^ 
senting tlie district which embraced the counties of Camden and 
Currituck. A son of the last named was Wilson G. Lamb, who 
married Eliza Williams, and among whose children were our 
present subject and Wilson G. Lamb, the younger, elsewtxn 
mentioned in this work. 

John C. Lamb was educated at the academy in Elizabeth Gtjr- 
Upon attaining manhood he settled at the town of WilUamston, 
in Martin County, and there engaged in merchandising and the 
West India trade, exporting shingles, staves, and tar, and bnport- 
ing sugar, molasses and salt. Several of his vessels were cap- 
tured by the Federals during the earlier part of the war. 

Mr. Lamb stood loyally by his State when North Carolina se* 
ceded in 1861 ; and on May 10, 1861, ten days before the ordi- 


lance of secession was passed at Raleigli, he was commissioned 
aptain of the first company raised in Martin County, this later 
lecoming Company A, Seventeenth North Carolina regiment. On 
^lay 20th {the same day on which the State secededl lie em- 
larked at Williamston for Hatteras Inlet, where his company was 
issigned to Fort Clark. The artillery at Fort Clark and Fort 
-latteras was so inferior that, when attacked by Commodore 
stringham's fleet, the besieged were at tiie mercy of the Federals, 
ind both forts surrendered. Thus becoming a prisoner of war 
m August 28, 1861, Captain Lamb was sent to Fort Warren in 
Boston Harbor, and there was held for some months. In a 
etter from that place, dated December 23, 1861, and addressed 

the Hon. W. N. H. Smith, of the Confederate Congress, Lieu- 
enant-Colonel Henry A. Gilliam wrote: 

"Our men have suffered greatly from disease. They have encountered 
Dcasles. typhoid pneumonia, bilious fever, mumps, and finally smalipox, of 
>hich latter plague twenty have been the victims. The sick, old. and in- 
irm have, however, been sent home. We now have near four hundred 
twn. The fall has been unusually mild and not much uncomfortable until 
ritbin a few days. It is now snowing and sleeting, and promises to settle 
tith us for past favors." 

Later on in the above letter to Congressman Smith, Colonel 
jitliam mentions Captain Lamb as one of his fellow-prisoners, 
aying: "Your very ardent friend, Captain Lamb, of Martin, 
ends his special regards." 

After his exchange, the Seventeenth regiment was reorganized, 
nd Captain Lamb became lieutenant-colonel on May 16, 1S62. 
le commanded the force which made the first attack on Plym- 
luth, and captured the town, on December 10, 1862, without 
he loss of a single Confederate, though several were wounded, 
n an official report of this exploit, written two days later. General 
iamuel G. French said: 

■■Plymouth. N. C, was nttackcd by our forces under Lieu tenant -Colonel 
Dhn C. Lamb, of the Seventeenth North Carolina regiment, and captured 

1 the 10th inst. at 5 a.m. The enemy's loss severe; twenty-five prisoners 
nd seventy-five negroes taken. Town reduced to ashes. We had one 


captain and six men wounded ; none killed. The gunboat protecting the 
town was driven away disabled." 

Lieutenant-Colonel Lamb commanded the Seventeenth regi- 
ment in the brilliant victory at Newport Barracks, near Mo^^ 
head, where his regiment turned the enemy's flank and captured 
all the artillery and forts, driving them across Newport River to 
Morehead, in February, 1864. The regiment was then ordered 
to Virginia, being part of Martin's brigade. After several days 
of severe fighting, an assault was ordered by General Beaurqjard 
on Butler's entrenched line near Drewry's Bluff. It was there 
that Colonel Lamb lost his life. In an account published 
in Clark's "North Carolina Regiments, 1861-65," Captain Charles 
G. Elliott says: 

"Lieutenant- Colonel John C. Lamb, of Williamston, N. C, Seventeenth 
North Carolina, sprang on the breastworks, cheering his men, and fell 
mortally wounded, a most gallant, able, and efficient officer, cut off in the 
flower of his youth. He fell with the shouts of victory from his beloved 
men resounding in his ears." 

In the above work, vol. ii, page i, will be found a war-time 
portrait of Colonel Lamb. 

The death of Colonel Lamb occurred on May 27, 1864. He 
was never married. In religion he was an Episcopalian, and was 
a vestryman of the Church of the Advent at Williamston. He 
regularly attended the diocesan conventions of the church in 
North Carolina as a delegate from his parish. He was a gallant 
soldier, good citizen, and zealous churchman. Had his life been 
spared he would doubtless have attained an even more dis- 
tinguished place in the military annals of the Confederacy. 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 


1^ i w. 


! A'- :., LLSOX AND 


army, who was killed at Drewry's Bluff; Wilson Gray Lamb, 
also a Confederate officer, to whom this sketch will more par- 
ticularly relate; Gideon Lamb, and G. Charles Lamb. 

The earlier days of our present subject, Wilson G. Lamb, the 
younger, were spent in Elizabeth City, where he attended a 
school conducted by the Rev. Edward M. Forbes, rector of the 
village church and an educator of some note. At that time the 
congressman from the First North Carolina district was Hon. 
W. N. H. Smith (afterward Confederate congressman and still 
later chief justice), and this gentleman tendered young Lamb the 
appointment as cadet in the United States Naval Academy at 
Annapolis. This appointment was accepted, and the youthful as- 
pirant for naval honors successfully passed his entrance exami- 
nation, but was not enrolled; for about this time hostilities be- 
tween the sections were beginning and he was summoned home 
by his father, who, like all of his family, was a loyal South- 
erner. On March 21, 1862, Wilson G. Lamb enlisted as a private 
in Company A, Seventeenth North Carolina regiment, this com- 
pany having for its captain his brother, John C. Lamb (noticed 
elsewhere in this work). The Seventeenth regiment was at first 
designated the Seventh volunteers. The greater part of this com- 
mand was captured at Hatteras Inlet in August, 1861, but Mr. 
Lamb did not enlist until the spring of 1862, when it was reorgan- 
ized and became the Seventeenth North Carolina regiment. Later 
he became sergeant-major, and was promoted to the rank of 
second lieutenant in 1863. During a great part of the war he also 
acted as regimental adjutant, though he was never commissioned 
to that post. He bore a share in the achievements of the Seven- 
teenth regiment (which was a part of the Martin-Kirkland 
brigade) and his personal bravery won special conmiendation on 
more than one occasion. He commanded the skirmish line of his 
brigade in the early battles around Petersburg in 1864, when Gen- 
eral Beauregard, with only fifteen thousand men, defended that 
city against Grant's army of seventy thousand for four days, 
from June 15th to June i8th, inclusive, and until (jieneral Lee 
brought up reenforcements. On the date last mentioned (June 18. 


1S64), Lieutenant Lamb was wounded; and, as a consequence, 
was absent from his regiment for a short while, but returned to 
the front before he had fully recovered. Shortly after his re- 
mrn to the amiy he was made division provost-marshal and per- 
formed the duties of that post for several months. In December, 
1864, when his division was ordered to Wilmington, N. C, he 
had so far recovered his strength as to resume his duties as adju- 
tant of the Seventeenth regiment. He participated in tlie engage- 
ments around Wilmington, which ended with the evacuation of 
that city on February 22, 1865, after the fall of Fort Fisher. 
L''nder the command of Captain Charles G. Elliott he served in 
the forces which repulsed the Federals on North East River. Al- 
luding to this occasion in Clark's "Histories of the North Caro- 
lina Regiments, 1861-65," Vol. IV, page 543, Captain Elliott 

"I remember Lieutenant Wilson G. Lamb, with one of the companies of 
the Seventeenth, as displaying coolness and conspicuous bravery." 

The above manteuvers around Wilmington were soon after 
Fort Fisher, in that vicinity, had been captured ; and the Con- 
fedt-rate-i. being unable longer to defend the town, were ordered 
to proceed toward New Bern by way of Goldsboro and Kinston. 
At Kinston some sharp fighting occurred with the Federal forces 
of General Jacob D. Cox (in later years governor of Ohio and a 
member of the President's cabinet), who then commanded at 
New Bern. Speaking of the affair at Kinston, Captain Elliott, in 
the above quoted work (page 545), says: 

"The brigade made a charge through the woods, which were very thick, 
with greal spirit, and drove the skirmishers before them. We encountered 
a brisk fire of musketry and artillery. As I heard a battery to our right 
and rear, I changed the direction of the Seventeenth and told them if they 
would push on they could turn and capture that battery. They sprang 
forward with a cheer. I was riding on the extreme left, and remember 
Captain Daniel and Lieutenant Wilson G. Lamb waving their swords and 
urging on the men." 

After the battle of Bentonville, in which Lieutenant Lamb and 
his regiment participated, he was in Johnston's army on the re- 


treat before Sherman, and surrendered at Center Church In 
Randolph County. Being determined to save the flag of his r^- 
ment from capture, Lieutenant Lamb placed it in the custody of 
private Abel Thomas, who concealed it by using it as a saddle- 
blanket. Thus Thomas rode through Sherman's forces at Chapel 
Hill while returning with Lieutenant Lamb to Martin County af- 
ter the surrender of his regiment. This sacred relic is still in 
the possession of Mr. Lamb, who has had it placed for protection 
in a handsome frame ; and it now occupies a conspicuous place in 
the hallway of his home in Williamston. Needless to say, it 
is valued by him above price. 

A war-time picture of Lieutenant Lamb will be found in the 
above quoted '^Histories of the North Carolina Regiments," vol. 
ii, page i. 

Shortly after the war, Mr. Lamb engaged in business as a mer- 
chant, and was also interested in the lumber industry. Later he 
became connected with the wholesale establishment of Daniel 
Miller & Company, of Baltimore, and has been the chief North 
Carolina representative of this mercantile corporation for many 
years, meeting with marked success in a business way. 

It is doubtful if any man has ever lived in North Carolina who 
has been more active and influential in politics without seeking or 
accepting office. Numerous appointments he has declined, prefer- 
ring to devote his time to the business pursuits in which he has 
engaged. He has never, however, refused his counsel and aid 
to the Democratic party, and has been one of its most trusted 
leaders in many campaigns. Three times he has represented 
North Carolina in Democratic national conventions, and for many 
years has been a member of the State Democratic Executive Com- 
mittee, also serving on the Central Committee in the latter body. 
For some years past he has been chairman of the State Board of 
Elections. In the latter capacity his absolute and undeviating 
fairness to both parties has been a marked characteristic. He 
has been officially thanked by two successive chairmen of the 
Republican State Executive Committee for the justice which has 
characterized his dealings with his political opponents on the 


Board and for his open recognition of the rights of those who 
di£Fer with hihi in governmental policies. 

Mr. Lamb is an Episcopalian in religion, a vestryman, and 
senior warden of the Church of the Advent at William sion. He 
has not only represented his parish in many diocesan conventions, 
but has been a delegate from the diocese of East Carolina in 
several general conventions of the church. He is also a mason, 
and past master of Skewarkey Lodge No. 90, at WiUiamston, 
He is a member of John C. Lamb Camp, No. 845, United Con- 
federate Veterans, this camp being named in honor of his 
brother who was killed at Drewry's Bluff. On one occasion in 
recent years he was one of three Confederate veterans from 
North Carolina who went to Boston as guests of honor of the 
Grand Army of the Republic, composed of their former oppo- 
nents on the field of battle ; and while there was the recipient of 
that hospitality for which New England's metropolis is noted. 

An account of Mr. Lamb's life would be far from complete 
without some mention of the splendid manner with which he has 
administered the affairs of the North Carolina Society of the Cin- 
cinnati, having been president of this oi^anization ever since its 
revival in 1896. The Order of the Cincinnati, as is well known, 
was first organized by veteran officers of the Revolution at New- 
burgh-on-the-Hudson, with George Washington as president of 
the general society. Shortly thereafter separate branches were 
formed in all of the thirteen states, the North Carolina society 
being organized at Hillsborough on October 23, 1783. Colonel 
Gideon Lamb was not one of the organizers of the society, hav- 
ing died a few years previously during the progress of the war; 
but his son, Lieutenant Abner Lamb, who had also fought for in- 
dependence as an officer of the Continental Line, was one of those 
who aided in forming the organization in North Carolina. After 
an existence of about fifteen years, the North Carolina Society 
became dormant — this being largely due to two causes : the diffi- 
culty of travel in that day, when some members had to ride more 
than a hundred miles on horseback to attend meetings, and the 
further fact that many Continental officers had moved across the 


Blue Ridge and settled on western lands which had been granted 
them for their services in the war. During the dormancy of the 
order in North Carolina, several gentlemen who held the right 
to membership in that society were admitted into other state 
societies, among these being Professor Edward Grraham Daves, 
of Maryland. This gentleman, and his brother, Major Graham 
Daves (afterward an honorary member of the North Carolina 
society), were the first to make investigations into the old records 
of the society with a view to its revival, but Professor Daves 
died in 1894. The first meeting for the purpose of reorganizing 
the North Carolina branch of the organization took place at Ral- 
eigh April 4, 1896, when there were present, in person or by 
proxy, the following representatives of original members of the 
society: John Gray Blount, John Myers Blount, John Collins 
Daves, Richard Bradley Hill, Wilson Gray Lamb, James Iredell 
McRee, William Law Murfree, William Polk, William Johnson 
Saunders, and Lee Haywood Yarborough. The General As- 
sembly of North Carolina on February 16, 1899, by chapter 70 
of the private laws of that year, constituted the society a cor- 
porate body, with the above-named gentlemen as incorporators, 
excepting Mr. Polk, who had died shortly theretofore. When 
the reorganization of the North Carolina Society was authorized 
by the General Society, it was stipulated that members of the 
body when first revived should be representatives of original 
members of the Society. For this reason Mr. Lamb (being the 
primogenitive representative of both) had to base his eligibility 
on the services of Lieutenant Abner Lamb instead of Colonel. 
Gideon Lamb. At a later period, the state society authorized hinrm. 
to assume the right of Colonel Gideon Lamb, who had died iktm 
the service ; and Laurence Lamb, of Tennessee, was then elected^ 
through the right of Lieutenant Abner Lamb. 

As already stated, Wilson G. Lamb has been president of tk^ 
North Carolina society of the Cincinnati ever since it was fir^*^ 
reorganized, in 1896, and a more admirable presiding officer coulcJ 
not have been chosen. Tactful always, possessing executive abil- 
ity of a very high order and a thorough knowledge of parliamen- 


tary law, his services have been of the highest value not only in 
the affairs of the slate society, but as one of the delegates from 
North Carolina to the conventions of the general society. 

On June 7, 1870, Mr. Lamb was happily united in marriage 
with Miss Virginia Louisa Gotten, daughter of Arthur Staton 
Gotten. To this union have been born three sons and five daugh- 
ters, as follows : John Gotten Lamb, who married Frances Mac- 
Rae, a daughter of Judge James G. MacRae; Wilson Gray Lamb, 
Jr. ; Luke Lamb ; Virginia Gotten Lamb, who married Frederick 
F. Bullock; Delia Lamb, now deceased, who married Howard 
Herrick; Louise Mayo Lamb; Eliza Williams Lamb, who mar- 
ried Dr. Charles H. G. Mills; and Annie Staton Lamb, 

Happily for his family and friends, and fortunately for the 
many good works which still characterize his life, Mr. Lamb's 
maturer years have been blessed with the same measure of 
health which he enjoyed in his more youthful days, this no doubt 
being largely due to his temperate habits and absolute freedom 
from excesses of any kind. 

Having known Mr. Lamb for some years — having been inti- 
mately associated with him at times, and knowing the estimate 
placed upon him by those whose acquaintance has extended 
throughout a lifetime — the present writer could not, without of- 
fense to that gentleman's modesty, endeavor to tell in full of the 
good influence in all things which he has exerted, of his never- 
tiring interest in the welfare of others, and that boundless char- 
ity for the faults and frailties of mankind which his own blame- 
less life will never have cause to invoke in its own behalf. 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 


, I 

: ) 


I ' ' 

>. »^\ 



.. *^^^ 




i m 



upon the meaning of the cross of Jesus Christ by consecrated 
devotion, with nothing of the pious demagogue about him, but 
singularly accessible by sweetness and frankness of demeanor, 
equipped for his holy mission in the splendid curriculum of 
Princeton, "seeking not his own" but the welfare of all for whom 
IThrist died, who were within the reach of his godly intelligence 
ind loving ministration. 

He entered first upon his Master's work at Oxford, Miss., 
where he built a new church and was abundantly blessed in his 
ninistrations to the students of the university of that State. From 
:hence he was called to the church in Bardstown, Ky., but follow- 
ng his missionary impulses he left that pleasant charge to move 
:o Louisville, Ky. There he laid the foundation of the Highland 
Iliurch, which he organized with a membership of twenty-two. 
Jnder his pastoral guidance and instruction that church grew most 
narvelously upon the sure foundation which he laid. It now has 
t communicant list of nearly 7O0 with two missions and Sunday- 
school of 350 scholars. The Maryland Avenue Church, of Balti- 
nore, wanting a pastor who would make sure their attempt to 
>ecome permanent and self-supporting, and assured of the qiialiS- 
:ations of Dr. McClure's building upon no foundation but "Jesus 
3hrist and Him crucified," summoned him to be their spiritual 
juide ; and here he effected the organization of the agencies which 
lave enabled his successor to develop, under God, a largely in- 
rreased congregation and to remodel the church. In the spring 
af 1891, upon the recommendation of a committee who had si- 
ently gone to Baltimore, heard him preach, and quietly informed 
:hemselves of his godly influence and ability, the congregation of 
5t. Andrew's Church { formerly the Second Presbyterian Church) 
Df Wilmington, N, C, unanimously called him to be their pastor. 
He accepted this call and entered upon his duties in July of that 

The fifteen years which have elapsed since that date have been 
marked by a most extraordinary growth in the membership of St. 
Andrew's Church, evidenced not only by numerical increase, but 
by the development of a spiritual life which has found its real ex- 


pression through all those channels of dominating impulse, char- 
itable performance, spiritual unity and earnestness, and broad 
Christian influence, which uniformly characterize a spiritualized 
leadership. A peculiar adaptation of Dr. McClure's temperament 
and purity of consecration to the needs of the young, who require 
singular encouragement and direction, has realized its fruit in 
the extremely large increase in this class of communicants to his 

Universal in his attentions, loving in his ministrations. Christ- 
like in his teachings, the poor hail his presence with joy, the sor- 
rowing with comfort, the wavering with assurance, and the un.- 
believing with a more than simulated confidence, all of which ar« 
the living testimonies to his worth, his sincerity, and his self-de- 
nial. His name in Wilmington is synonymous with everything 
that is helpful to the individual and conducive to the cause o i 
genuine Christian living. His influence is recognized by all o i 
every creed and color, pointing always to the simple and benig"« 
and forgiving impulse of the Cross ; firm in his own conviction s, 
faithful to his denominational allegiance, and true to his godl^ 
instincts of what a minister of Jesus Christ ought to be, he stand s 
to-day in the community of Wilmington as an excellent example 
of the winsomeness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and of ttiLt 
beauty of an unaffected discipleship. 

All along his ministerial career the Presbyterian Church h^M^ 
recognized his ability and usefulness, attested by his appointmex^t 
in 1884 as delegate to the Pan-Presbyterian Alliance at Belfast 
Ireland ; by being made a member of the General Assembly's conTM- 
mittee to prepare the church hymn book ; by prominent places J^ 
the general assemblies of 1887, 1893, and 1903. and as moderator 
of the synod of 1896. 

In state presbyterial connection he has made his mark on the 
board of foreign missions, in important judicial cases, as asso- 
ciate editor of the North Carolina Presbyterian for four years, 
in connection with the educational branches of his presb3rtery, and 
in other important places. 

Locally his services are most abundant : as an influential mem- 


er of various secret charitable orders; as chaplain of the Sea- 
lan's Bethel ; as leader of the Bible class of the Y. M. C. A.; as 
laplain of the Second regiment, N. C. S, G., and as tiie most 
rominent and regiUar ministrant in the James Walker Memorial 
lospital; as president of the Associated Charities, and as identi- 
;d effectually with every movement in Wilmington in the better- 
jent of the socialistic conditions and the advancement of true 
;ltgion. He is the author of a most helpful little book entitled 
\iiother Comforter." 

As preacher he is most impressive, instructive, and convinc- 
\g; as a pastor, incomparable. In 1901 Davidson College be- 
owed upon him the degree of D.D. Recently Dr. McClure was 
Llled to the church at Shelbyville. Tenn., which call, after prayer- 
il consideration, he declined in view of the earnest appeal of all 
asses in the community. At a recent annual congregational meet- 
g of St. Andrew's Church, the folowing minute was unani- 
ously agreed to : 

"The elders of tliis church desire to place on record a cordial ex- 
ession of their high apprcciaiion of the faithfulness of our efficient 
id devoted pastor. Rev. A. D. McCiure, D.D. His unswerving fidelity 

the cause of Christ and His Church, his clear and forcible presenta- 
>n of the truth, his constant watchfulness and solicitude for the sick 
id suffering, his tender and loving sympathy with the bereaved and 
rrowing. his impartial and unprejudiced intercourse with all classes 

our people, his patience and forbearance under all circumstances, 
id his tender care of the flock committed to his charge, have won for 
m the love and sympathy and cooperation of our entire congrega- 

" 'Whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what- 
■ever things are of good report,* these have been exemplified in his 
e and character, and in his walk and conversation among us. He has 
atched for souls as they who must give an account, and our church 
IS been signally blessed of God under his ministrations." 

James Carmichael. 

FLORA McDonald 

i with eminent propriety that Flora McDoo- 
? aid may claim a place in work devoted to the 
j history of North Carolina. Four or five years 
5 of her life, so rich in strange scenes and moving 
' incidents, were passed within the boundaries of 
i the State, 1774-79, at Fayetteville, and not far 
away from the ancient town, at Cameron's Hill, in the Barbecue 
district of Cumberland County. 

The subject of our sketch was born in 1722, and was the daugh- 
ter of Angus Ronald McDonald, a farmer, whose home was at 
Milton, in South Uist, one of the Hebrides. Her mother was 
Marion McDonald, daughter of the Rev. Angus McDonald, a 
minister of the Scottish church. Our heroine lost her father in in- 
fancy, and at the early age of six her mother was abducted and 
married by Hugh McDonald. Flora was left to the care of bf 
brother until she attained her thirteenth year, and was then taltn 
into the home of the Clanrandals, to whom she was related, to be 
taught by the family governess. Her musical gifts were rare, and 
were cultivated in accordance with the purest standards that pre- 
vailed in the Scotland of that era. She excelled as a performer on 
the spinet, and in her rendering of the soul-stirring airs which were 
the inspiration of the Highlanders. In 1739 Flora was invited to 
Monkstadt in Skye by Margaret, wife of Sir Alexander Mc- 
Donald, of the Isles. Soon after she went with the family to 

FLORA McDonald 293 

Edinburgh to complete her education, and at the end of her school 
course, remained with them in the metropolis until 1745, returning 
to Skye for the summer of that year. 

During a visit of Flora's to her relatives in South Uist, one of 
the Hebrides, Charles Edward, the "Bonnie Prince" and younger 
pretender, reached the island after his disastrous rout at tiie battle 
of Culloden, April 16, 1746. He had been hunted from point to 
point and a liberal reward was offered for his capture. In this 
desperate exigency, when escape seemed hopeless, it was suggested 
that the prince be disguised in apparel and leave the island with 
Flora in the capacity of a waiting-maid. Despite the unrelenting 
vigilance of the prince's pursuers, who guarded every point, the 
perilous scheme was carried out to a^uccessful issue, and the heir 
Df the house of Stuart, after many thrilling experiences, made his 
way to France, and thence to Italy, where he died near Rome in 
1788. A woman's tact and cleverness had vanquished all ob- 
stacles and baffled the resources of a victorious government. 
Flora's own stepfather. Captain Hugh McDonald, one of the 
officers engaged in the pursuit, issued the passports which made 
the escape of her party from the island possible of accomplish- 
ment. It is supposed by some biographers that he connived at, if 
he did not even sympathize with, Flora's astute and ingenious de- 
vice. The government was naturally incensed at the escape of the 
prince from its very hands. Flora was taken into custody and 
sent with other so-called conspirators to London. Her imprison- 
ment seems to have been for the most part nominal — no evidence 
against her was produced and she was released in accordance with 
the Act of Indemnity in 1747. That her personal sympathies 
were strongly enlisted in favor of the house of Stuart, admits of 
no reasonable doubt. When she was asked by Frederick, Prince 
of Wales, "How dare you succor the enemy of my crown and king- 
dom?" her reply was, "I did only what I would do for your High- 
ness in the same condition — relieved distress." Upon her return 
to Scotland she was received with every demonstration of honor 
and respect. Four years after her return to her own land she 
married Allan McDonald, son of the Laird of Kingsburgh, who 


inherited his father's estate as well as his title. In this way she 
became the mistress of the same historic house in which Prince 
Charlie passed his first night in the Isle of Skye, June 29, 1746, 
after his escape from Uist. 

In 1773 Dr. Samuel Johnson made his tour of the Hebrides, im- 
mortalized in Bosweirs incomparable biography. The doctor and 
his historian were the guests of Flora McDonald, and were es- 
pecially gratified at being put to sleep in the same bed which bad 
been occupied by the prince during the memorable night that be 
passed upon the island. This time Flora and her husband were 
contemplating a removal to North Carolina. The distracted con- 
dition of their own country, financial exigency, and encouraging 
reports of prosperity received from friends who had established 
themselves upon the Cape Fear River, all induced their removal. 

Early in the year 1771 Alexander McDonald, of Skye, and as- 
sociates petitioned the king to grant them 40,000 acres of land 
in North Carolina, to be settled by Protestants. Their petition a 
year later was rejected because it was thought that the government 
ought to discourage the removal of any more persons from Great 
Britain to America. (Colonial Records, vol. ix., p. 304.) Never- 
theless, the McDonalds came to Carolina, sailing from Scotland 
on the ship Baliol in 1774. When they arrived at Wilmington, a 
ball was given there in honor of Flora, and at Cross Creek she re- 
ceived a Highland welcome, being greeted with the strains of the 
pibroch and martial music. For a year or so she resided at Cam- 
eron Hill, in Cumberland, and at Cross Creek. The stone founda- 
tion of the house which she occupied at Fayettevillc is still in 
existence. It rises from the creek which formerly gave its name 
to the town, by Eccles Bridge, one of the ancient landmarks of 
Fayetteville. The change to North Carolina opened up a new 
chai)tcr of rlisasters in the history of the McDonalds. It oc- 
curred upon the eve of the revolutionary struggle, and the High- 
landers, who had resolutely adhered to the ill-starred house of 
Stuart until its extinction at Culloden (1746) had transferred 
their allegiance to the cause of England, now linked with the for- 
tunes of the dominant house of Hanover. 

FLORA McDonald 295 

Elarly in January, 1776, her husband purchased a tract of land, 
ai in Anson County, now on the borders of Richmond and 
jntgomery, called "Kiliiegray," and removed there. Her hus- 
id, Allan, received a commission in January, 1776, to raise the 
ghland Loyalists, and Flora was so zealous and enthusiastic in 
it cause, that she accompanied her husband on horseback, arous- 
; the Highlanders to the king's standard. Her daughter mar- 
d Colonel Alexander McLeod, also engaged in embodying the 

Flora's husband, Kingsburgh McDonald, was captured at the 
:tle of Moore's Creek, February 27, 1776, which proved another 
lloden for the cause of the Highlanders, and was imprisoned 
Halifax jail. In accordance with his advice. Flora returned to 
otland in 1779, making her home with her brother until re- 
ned by her husband. A notable incident of the voyage was an 
ronnter with a French ship of war. During the progress of the 
jagement Flora displayed her characteristic fearlessness and in- 
red the crowd by heroic example. The attack was repulsed, 
: Flora received a severe injury from an accident which resulted 
a broken arm. It was this experience which elicited her com- 
nt, "I have hazarded my life for the house of Stuart and the 
use of Hanover, and I do not see that I am a great gainer by 

Flora died at Kingsburgh, March 5, 1790, and was followed to 
- grave in Bilmuir Cemetery by an immense concourse of loyal 
d loving countrymen. The sheets which the prince had Iain on 
: memorable night of June 29, 1746 formed her shroud. The 
rble slab which covered her grave was chipped to pieces by relic 
ntcrs, but at a later time an obelisk was erected to mark the 
.ce of her rest. 

The best known portrait of Flora McDonald is by Sir Allen 
msay, and is in the galleries of the Bodleian Library in Oxford, 
is noteworthy that she invariably signs herself, "Flory Mac- 

Dur heroine was the mother of a large family. Three of her 
IS devoted themselves to the military and naval service. Two 



of her children are said to have died in infancy during her resi- 
dence in North Carolina. 

Many of the distinctive features of the typical southern womaa 
are foreshadowed in the life and character of Flora McDonald-^ 
grace of manner, comeliness, softness and gentleness of voice, 
serenity in the hour of supreme peril, resotu'cefulness that failed 
not in any extremity of fortune, sweetness and light that never 
vanished into gloom, or faded even into momentary eclipse. 

Henry E. Shepherd. 

EPHRAiM McDowell 

gPHRAIM Mcdowell was the fo 
^McDowell family of Virginia, North ( 
Sand Kentucky. He was ended fr S 
3 eril. Lord of the Isles, throuj I ] 

who founded the clan of McDc ot 

^oldest of the fifty-two Highli da 
In the coat-of-arms of the McDougals and McU 
tered the lymphiad or ancient four-oared galley fo 
armorial bearings of the clans of the western coast of itland. 

Ephraim, like his ancestors, was a brave soldier, d fought 
when a lad of sixteen in the celebrated siege of Londonderry 
( [689). He married bis cousin, Margaret Irvine, also of direct 
Scotch descent. {See letter from Dr. Hervey McDowell, of Ken- 

Ephraim when stxty-two years of age emigrated to America, 
settling first in Pennsylvania; in 1737 he came up the Valley of 
Virginia to Rockbridge County. He had four children: John, 
James, Mary, and Margaret. 

John, though a young man, was the leading citizen of Rock- 
bridge County, was chosen captain of a company of border militia, 
and was the first citii:en of that county to fall in a fight with the 
Indians. He left four children. His daughter, Margaret Mc- 
Dowell, married George Moffitt, later a distinguished colonel in 
the war for independence, and whose two beautiful and accom- 


plished daughters, Margaret and Mary, after independence was 
gained, married their cousins. Colonel Joseph McDowell (after 
the war brigadier-general of militia), of Quaker Meadows, and 
Captain Joseph McDowell, of Pleasant Garden. Captain JosqA 
McDowell, St., the founder of the Quaker Meadows home, was the 
son of John McDowell, and a grandson of Captain John Mc- 
Dowell, who was killed by the Indians. He died in 1775 in his 
sixtieth year, having been bom in 1715. The record upon the 
slab erected to his memory still bears his name and age, though a 
part of the inscription on it is indistinct. Colonel Wheeler was 
mistaken in the statement that the first settler at Quaker Meadows 
was John McDowell, and led the writer into error when writing 
the chapter on Burke County in "Western North Carolina." 
(These facts are gathered from Foote's "Sketches of Virginia,** 
and from a letter from the late Dr. Hervey McDowell, of Cyn- 
thiana, Ky., who presided over the first Scotch-Irish convention, 
and who, before his death, accumulated more information about 
the McDowell family than any other person of the name has ever 

No one seems to know the maiden name of the wife of this 
Captain Joseph McDowell, and there seems to be no record of 
the names of their children. The writer has evidence that one 
of his daughters, probably the oldest, whose name he does not 
know, married William McPeters, who was the first owner 
of the old Rutherford home at Bridgewater, and whose daughter 
married Shadrach Inman. When McDowell and Shelby were b^ 
ing hotly pursued, after the fight at Musgrove's Mill, he suggested 
the stratagem adopted by them of constructing hurried log breast- 
works, of sending Inman to skirmish with the advance of the 
enemy, and then suddenly to flee in apparent confusion, in the 
vicinity of the breastworks. The stratagem succeeded, the enemy 
pursuing in disorderly fashion, and running almost upon the 
breastworks, when they received a heavy fire from Shelby's and 
McDowell's men from which they never rallied. This Captain 
Inman gave the name of Shadrach to a little creek which empties 
into the Catawba River near the Burke and McDowell County line. 

EPHRAiM McDowell 299 

3e was one of three brothers whose given names were Shadrach, 
lifeshech, and Abednego. They were the progenitors of John H. 
[ninati and Samuel Inman, well-known millionaires, and of other 
ntMninent people in Tennessee, Georgia, and the Southwest. 

The oldest son of Joseph McDowell was Hugh McDowell, who 
«ttled on a farm on Canoe Creek, adjoining the Quaker Meadows 
:arm, later known as the Murphy or Collett place. His only 
JiUd, Margaret, married James Murphy, and their only child, 
fohn Murphy, married Margaret Stringfellow Avery and died, 
caving four children: one son, John H. Murphy, who married 
Hara Patton, of Buncombe ; and three daughters : Eliza, who mar- 
ked T. George Walton ; Loretta, who married first Alexander F. 
jaston, son of Judge Gaston, and subsequently W. C. Erwin ; and 
llarriet, who married William M, Walton. After the death of 
fohn Murphy, his widow, Margaret Avery Murphy, married Mr, 
fohn Collett, and had one son, the late Dr. Waightstill A. Collett, 
>f Morganton. James Murphy distinguished himself at Cowpens, 
?amseur's Mills, and King's Mountain as a soldier from Burke 
bounty, and prior to that time had distinguished himself in the 
■egular colonial line as a soldier. The biographical sketch of 
'olonel or General Charles McDowell will follow after tracing the 
■*Ieasant Garden branch of the family down to the Revolutionary 

A. C. Avery. 


She inscription upon his tombstone, at Grave- 
yard Hill, near Quaker Meadows, records th« 
' fact that Charles McDowell, of Quaker Mea- 
, dows, died on "March 31, 1815, aged about 
* seventy years." He must have been about 
5 eighty years of age, because Colonel Shelbj 
wrote of him at the time of the battle of King's Mountain as a 
brave and patriotic man, but "too far advanced in life, and too 
inactive for the command of such an enterprise as we were then 
engaged in." He must have been then at least forty-five years 

In the summer of 1780, when Colonel Isaac Shelby returned 
to the Watauga settlement from Kentucky, where he had located 
his future home, he foimd a letter from Colonel Charles Mc- 
Dowell asking him to furnish all the aid in his power to check the 
enemy who had overrun two southern states and were on the 
borders of North Carolina. It was this request from Charles 
McDowell that led to the cooperation of the heroes of that settle- 
ment with those of Burke and Wilkes counties in checking Fer- 
guson's allompt lo devastate the piedmont section of the State. 
After the arrival near Cherokee Foi«d, on Broad River, of 
Colonel Shelby and Lieutenant-Colonels Sevier and Dark, they 
were detached with 600 men and surprised a post of the enemy 
on the waters of the Pacolet River. It was a strong fort sur- 

CHARLES Mcdowell 301 

rounded by abatis, built in the Cherokee war and commanded by 
that distinguished loyalist. Captain Patrick Moore. On the 
second summons, after the Americans had surrounded the post 
within musket shot, he surrendered the garrison with one British 
sergeant-major, 93 loyalists, and 250 stands of arms, 
loaded with ball and buckshot, and so arranged at the portholes 
85 to have repulsed double the number of Americans. ("North 
Carolina in 1780-81," by Schenck.) 

Ferguson soon after invaded North Carolina with an over- 
whelming force, and on August ist his advance troops, about six 
or seven hundred strong, overtook the American force under Mc- 
Dowell and Shelby at a place called Cedar Springs. A sharp 
conflict ensued, in which the Americans inflicted great damage 
upon their pursuers, and when Ferguson approached with his 
whole force, they retreated carrying off the field fifty prisoners. 

General McDowell having received information that five or six 
hundred Tories were encamped at Musgrove's Mill, on the south 
side of the Enoree. about forty miles distant, detached Colonels 
Shelby, Williams, and Clark with about seven hundred horsemen 
to surprise and disperse them. The detachment moved from 
Smith's Ford on Broad River just before sundown on the evening 
of August 18, 1780, going through the woods in order to pass 
around Ferguson, whose force occupied a position almost imme- 
diately on the route. They met and skirmished with a strong 
patrol party, and receiving information that the enemy at Mus- 
grove's Mill had been heavily reinforced, began to fall back. It 
wa^ at this jiincture that the log breastworks were built, and that 
Captain Inman, as already mentioned, began to skirmish with the 
enemy as soon as they crossed the Enoree River, and led them 
into the ambush prepared for them. 

After this affair the Americans mounted their horses and were 
about to make a forced march to Ninety-six, where they hoped to 
capture a British garrison, when a letter from Governor Caswell 
was received by McDowell apprising him of the defeat of the 
Americans under General Gates, on the i6th, near Camden, 
and advising him to get out of the way, as the enemy would no 


doubt endeavor to improve their victory to the greatest advantage 
by destroying all the small corps of the American army. 
(Schenck's "North Carolina in 1780-81.") 

Accordingly the troops under McDowell were dispersed, some 
going to the west and some to the south. 

On August 29th Cornwallis wrote to Sir Henry Qinton that 
Ferguson was to move into Tryon, now Lincoln County, with what 
the latter thought was a reliable body of militia. Ferguson ac- 
cordingly advanced to Gilbert-town, three miles north of the pres- 
ent village of Rutherfordton, where he issued a proclamation to 
the citzens to renew their allegiance and join the king's army. 
Learning that McDowell had retired, and that the Watauga 
leaders had crossed the mountains to their homes, Ferguson be- 
gan to send out parties of foragers to ravage the county of Burke. 
This aroused Colonel Charles McDowell, and learning that he 
was again mustering his men, Ferguson sent out a detachment in 
search of him. But he again failed to surprise McDowell, who 
was lying in ambuscade for him at Bedford Hill, three miles 
southwest of Brindletown and near Cowan's Ford of Cane Creek. 
On the approach of Ferguson's men McDowell's men fired upon 
them, killing many of the Tories and wounding Major Dunlap, 
the trusted lieutenant of Ferguson. Ferguson was forced to re- 
tire hastily to Gilbert-town. 

Unable to resist the large reserve force of Ferguson, McDowell 
retired across the Blue Ridge to the Watauga settlement, and de- 
scribing the desolation that marked the advance of Ferguson, he 
urged Sevier and Shelby to call out their men and join in another 
effort to drive back the invaders. McDowell proposed to return 
while the Watauga clans were gathering to the east of the moun- 
tains, and send messages to Cleveland and Hemdon, of Wilkes, 
and Winston, of Surry County, and meantime convey constant 
intelligence to the over-mountain men of Ferguson's movements, 
and to preserve as far as possible the beeves of the Whigs in the 
upper Catawba. 

While McDowell was outlining the plan for making Quaker 
Meadows, his own home in Burke County, the place of rendezvous 

CHARLES McDowell 303 

for his regiment and those of Sevier, Shelby, Winston, Cleveland, 
and Campbell, a prisoner released by Ferguson to bear a message 
to the trans-mountain leaders arrived and told them that he was 
instructed by Ferguson to say he would soon cross the mountain, 
bang the leaders, and lay waste the county with fire and sword. 

The commands met at the appointed time, and while the sol- 
diers were camped upon the broad bottoms of the Quaker Mea- 
dows farm, the leaders met to consult under the historic "Council 
Oak" which, until a few years ago, overhung a spring on that 
farm. Here Charles McDowell explained the position of Fer- 
guson's command and outlined his plan of advancing upon and 
capturing Ferguson, He was the ranking officer and moved the 
whole command without delay in the direction of Gilbert-town, and 
followed Ferguson when he fell back to what he considered an 
impregnable stronghold at King's Mountain. Owing to some 
dissension. Colonel Charles McDowell was induced to forego the 
right to command, which seniority of rank gave him. This was 
explained in an extract from an account of the battle of King's 
Mountain by Governor Shelby, published in 1823, which is as 
follows : 

"Colonel McDowell was the commanding officer of the district we 
were in, and had commanded the militia assembled in that quarter all 
the summer before against the same enemy. He was a brave and pa- 
triotic man, but we considered him too far advanced in life and too 
inactive to command such an enterprise as we were then engaged in. 
Colonel McDowell, who had the good of his country at heart more 
than any title to command, submitted to what was done, but observed 
that as he could not be permitted to command, he would be the mes- 
senger to go to headquarters for the general officer. He accordingly 
started immediately, leaving his men under his brother. Major Joseph 

Colonel Charles McDowell married Grace Greenlee Bowman, 
the widow of Captain Bowman, of Burke, who was mortally 
wounded and died at Ramseur's Mill, and the daughter of James 
Greenlee and Mary McDowell Greenlee, who lie buried beside her 
at the Quaker Meadows burial ground. A daughter born of the 
first marriage with Captain Bowman, who lived at Hickory 


Grove, afterward married William Tate. He left three children: 
a son, who was the father of Captain J. C. Tate, and two daugb* 
ters, one of whom was the first wife of Governor Z. B. Vance. 

Mrs. Grace Greenlee McDowell is one of the "Women of the 
Revolution" of whom Mrs. Ellet left sketches. She rode on 
horseback to Ramseur's Mill to nurse Captain Bowman. She 
burned charcoal in a cave while Colonel McDowell was preparing 
saltpetre to make the powder which was used at King's Mountain. 

Colonel Charles McDowell left two daughters and two sons. 
The oldest daughter married John Paxton, the brother of Judge 
Paxton, of Burke, and settled in Rutherford, now Henderson 
County. She was the grandmother of Chief Justice Merrimon 
and Judge James H. Merrimon. The other daughter married 
William Dickson, of Mulberry, now in Caldwell County, a leading 
citizen, who reared a large and influential family. One of the 
sons, Athan McDowell, was for many years sheriff of Burke 
County, and left a son, Charles, who lived in Henderson County, 
and a daughter, who married Hon. James Harper, of Caldwell 
County, and is still living. She is the mother of Mrs. Judge 
Cilley, of Hickory. 

The other son, Charles McDowell, born 1785, and died 1859, 
married the only daughter of Major Joseph McDowell, Jr., of 
Pleasant Gardens, and left four daughters and one son. The old- 
est daughter, Mary, married an able and distinguished lawyer, 
John Gray Bynum, Sr., and was the mother of the late Judge 
John Gray Bynum, of Morganton, and later of Greensboro. The 
second daughter, Eliza, married Hon. N. W. Woodfin, one of the 
ablest men and most learned lawyers who has been reared in 
western North Carolina. The third daughter married Major 
John Woodfin, who fell in command of a battalion at Warm (now 
Hot) Springs, in Madison County. The other daughter, Mar- 
garet, married the late W. F. McKesson and was the mother of 
C. F. McKesson and Mrs. Annie Busbee, first wife of Fabins 
H. Busbee, and the mother of Mrs. Margaret Busbee Shipp, of 

The only son of Captain Charles McDowell, Jr., was Colonel 

CHARLES Mcdowell 305 

James C. S. McDowell. He was born February 6, 1831, and 
married Julia Manly, a daughter of Governor Charles Manly. 
He was a man of commanding form, unusually handsome face, 
of pleasing address and genial disposition. He had chosen farm- 
ing as his calling, but took a lifelong interest in public affairs. 
He was well posted upon political questions, and on occasion 
presented his views clearly and forcibly. He was selected as the 
most available Whig candidate for the house of commons in i860. 
If any man could have triumphed over John H. Pearson, the 
popular standard-bearer of the Democrats, James McDowell's 
sensible speeches, winning address, and popularity with the boys 
would have carried him through. 

He was chosen second lieutenant of C. M. Avery's company in 
the Bethel regiment, and when mustered out at the end of six 
months' service, he raised a company and afterward became 
colonel of the Fifty-fourth North Carolina regiment. He at- 
tracted attention by his gallantry in the engagement at Bethel. 
In the first fight in which he commanded his regiment — ^the first 
battle of Fredericksburg — he led it in a gallant charge, at his own 
request, made late in the afternoon, in which the enemy were 
driven off the railroad and over the top of the hill beyond. The 
Fifty-fourth and Fifty-seventh were ordered to drive the enemy 
from the railroad, but pursued to the top of the hill and had to be 
brought back to the line which they were ordered to capture. 
This advance was made December 14, 1862, just before the army 
went into winter quarters. On May 3d following, at the opening 
of the spring campaign of 1863, Colonel J. C. S. McDowell fell, 
mortally wounded, in front of his regiment at Marye*s Heights, 
near Fredericksburg. He died May 8, 1863, leaving four chil- 
dren : Samuel, Manly, Annie, and Cora. Manly is at present the 
popular sheriff of Burke County. His sister, Annie, married 
Thomas Walton and was the mother of Lieutenant William M. 
Walton, who won promotion in the regular army by gallant con- 
duct and upon examination, but he died recently of tuberculosis 
contracted in the Philippines. 

A, C. Avery, 

JOSEPH Mcdowell, Sr. 

lTELL, of Quaker Meadows, was bom at Win- 
1 Chester, Va., in 1756 and died in 1801. (Bio- 
J graphical Congressional Directory.) He was 
* buried in the family graveyard near Quaker 
_ _ _ _ _a Meadows, where his grave is marked only by a 
large "J" carved on a white oak tree at its head. Judge Schendc 
(in "North Carolina, 1780-81") says: "To the brothers Charles 
and Joseph McDowell, and to their no less gallant cousin, Joseph 
McDowell, of Pleasant Gardens, Burke County, are due more 
credit and honor for the victory of King's Mountain than to any 
other leaders who participated in that great and decisive battle. 
Yet the name of McDowell does not appear on the granite shaft 
raised by patriot hands on those memorable heights — a reproadi 
to the men who wrote the inscription and an indigniQr to 
North Carolina, which contributed so largely to construct the 
monument. It was Colonel Charles McDowell and Majw 
Joseph, his brother, who originated the idea of organizing a 
force to capture Ferguson, and in conjunction with their cotuin 
they were the most prominent in executing the plan which thry 
had conceived." 

As already appears from a statement quoted from Shelby's 
account of the battle of King's Mountain, Joseph McDowell, Sr. 
(his brother) was left in command of Charles McDowell's r^- 

JOSEPH McDowell, su. 307 

ment when he was sent to bring a general officer to assume com- 
mand. Though some of the descendants of Joseph McDowc)], 
of Pleasant Gardens, have expressed some doubt as to which was 
the senior officer, botli Draper and Schenck adduce other evidence 
in addition to the statement of Colonel Shelby, and both award 
the seniority to "Quaker Meadows Joe," who, after the Revolu- 
tion, was made a general of militia. Applications for pensions 
made after the war so designated their commander at King's 
Mountain, and in addition, the writer has before him a Bio- 
graphical Congressional Directory which contains a sketch of 
Joseph McDowell and of Joseph J. McDowell, who were mem- 
bers of Congress. The material for such sketches has been gen- 
erally furnished by the senator or member himself, and in one of 
these sketches Joseph McDowell, the congressman, is represented 
as commander of the Burke regiment. A sketch of Joseph J. 
McDowell, who was a member of the twenty-eighth and twenty- 
ninth congresses from Ohio as a Democrat, states that he was a 
son of Joseph McDowell, and that he was born in Burke County, 
N. C, November 13, 1800 (this being the year before Joseph 
McDowell, of Quaker Meadows, died on Johns River in that 

After the battle of King's Mountain, Joseph McDowell, Sr., 
remained in service and with him the younger Joseph, of Pleas- 
ant Gardens: and both distinguished themselves in the battle 
of Cowpens, as they had earlier at Ramseur's Mill. The advance 
upon Ramseur's Mill was led by three companies commanded 
respectively by Captains McDowell, Falls, and Brandon, and offi- 
cers and men won lasting honor by boldly advancing upon the 
Tory line and putting it to flight. 

Joseph McDowell, Sr., led a portion of the front line of Mor- 
gan to victory at Cowpens. His command consisted of 190 rifle- 
men, mounted, from Burke County. These men were hardy 
mountaineers who had fought at Musgrove's Mill and King's 
Mountain, armed with Deckard rifles, and were accurate marks- 
men. The first front line which made the flrst dash upon the 
enemy was commanded by Major McCall, of Georgia, because he 



ranked Major McDowell, but McCall had only 30 men while 
McDowell had 190 engaged. 

Mrs. Margaret McDowell Moffitt left Burke County in 1 801 
after the death of her husband, and moved first to Virginia and 
then to Kentucky. We have seen that the boy, who was a baby 
when she left this State, afterward represented an Ohio district 
in Congress. Dr. Hervey McDowell stated that others of her 
descendants had been prominent leaders in almost every walk of 

A. C, Avery. 

JOHN McDowell 

a Gardens, was the cousin of Colonel Charles Mc- 
gDowell, and the son of James McDowell, a 
y grandson of Captain John McDowell, of I-ex- 
* ington, Va., ah-eady mentioned as a son of 
§ Ephraim McDowell and his wife, Margaret 

He first intended to seltle on a tract of land at Swan Ponds, 
adjoining that of his first cousin, Hugh McDowell, but he subse- 
rjuently located on the old Pleasant Gardens farm on the Catawba 
River, now in McDowell County. He died about the year 1775 
and was buried at the family burial ground at Pleasant Gardens, 
where his son. Captain Joseph, was afterward interred, but no 
stone marks the burial place of either of them. Both he and his 
cousin Joseph, when they left the Valley of Virginia, settled tem- 
porarily in upper South Carolina, and first entered lands on the 
Pacolet and Broad rivers, in Tryon (now Rutherford) County, 
N. C. After the end of the French and Indian war, the ven- 
turesome "Hunting John" explored the whole valley of the Ca- 
tawba and he and his cousin selected what they thought richest 
and best. 

His daughter Anna married a Mr. Whitson, and their daughter 
married General Alney Burgin and was the mother of Captain 
Joseph McDowell Burgin, of Old Fort, and the grandmother of 


Mrs. Locke Craig, of Asheville. Another daughter, Rachel Mc- 
Dowell, was the first wife of Colonel John Carson, of Pleasant 
Gardens, and the mother of his older children, the oldest of whom 
was Joseph McDowell Carson, of Rutherford County, the grand- 
father of Captain Joseph C. Mills, of Burke, and of Mrs. Frank 
Coxe, of Asheville. 

''Hunting John" had but three children — ^the two daughters 
mentioned above, and one son. 

This son, Captain or Major Joseph McDowell, Jr., of Pleasant 
Gardens, was born at Winchester, Va., February 26, 1758, and 
died in 1795 at the age of thirty-seven. The late Silas McDowell, 
of Macon County, who lived to a ripe old age, was a contemporary 
and was intimately acquainted with all of the prominent men liv- 
ing in the mountain section of the State in the early part of the 
nineteenth century. He states in a reminiscent letter which the 
writer has that Joseph McDowell, of Pleasant Gardens, was the 
most brilliant and the most prominent man who lived west of 
Lincoln County prior to the day of D. L. Swain, Samuel P. Car- 
son, and Dr. Robert B. Vance. Silas McDowell says that his 
"light went out when he was in his noonday prime, and in the 
last decade of the eighteenth century." He was but nineteen 
years of age when he went with Rutherford's command in 1777, 
in his invasion and conquest of the Cherokee country ; he was bat 
twenty-two years of age when he fought at King's Mountain. 
Draper says : '* 'Pleasant Gardens Joe' was a physician, and i$ 
regarded as having had the brightest intellect of any of the ood- 
nection." This is in accord with the tradition handed down from 
Silas McDowell, of Macon County, one of the most prominent 
mountain men of the last century. Whether Joseph McDowell, 
of Pleasant Gardens, represented the mountain district in the 
third congress from 1793 to 1795, when he died, and then, after 
an interval of one term, Joseph McDowell, Sr., of Quaker Mea- 
dows, was elected in 1797 a member of the fifth congress, is a 
question which it seems difficult to settle with absolute certainty. 
The greater weight of evidence, however, seems to be in favor of 
the view that the younger Joseph was never a representative in 

JOHN McDowell 311 

Congress. Joseph McDowell, Jr., was a member of the house of 
commons from Burke in the years 1787, 1788, 1791, and 1792, but 
not after 1792. 

Joseph McDowell married his cousin, Mary Moiiitt, a daughter 
of Colonel George Moffitt, of Virginia, as has already been stated. 
Three children survived him: Ann, who was the wife of her 
cousin, Charles McDowell, and whose descendants have already 
been mentioned ; James, who lived at Pleasant Gardens and mar- 
ried Margaret Erwin and was the father of Dr. Joseph, Dr. John, 
and Colonel William McDowell and of Mrs. Kate Patton, wife 
of Montreville Patton, and Margaret, wife of Marcus Erwin ; and 
Colonel John McDowell, of Rutherford County, who was the 
father of Colonel John, of the Confederate army, and of the first 
wife of Colonel C. T. N. Davis, who fell at the head of the Six- 
teenth North Carolina regiment at Seven Pines in 1862, and of 
Mrs. Dr. Michael, Mrs. Genevieve Gamewell, and Miss Sarah 
McDowell, and of Joseph and Thomas McDowell, who migrated 
to Texas. 

Colonel John Carson (after the death of his first wife) mar- 
ried Mary Moffitt McDowell, widow of Joseph McDowell. One 
of their sons was the distinguished Samuel P. Carson who repre- 
sented the mountain district in Congress for three terms and 
afterward migrated to the republic of Texas, and before he died 
had been made treasurer and a member of the cabinet of Samuel 
Houston, the president of Texas. Another son was William, 
who was a member of the legislature from Burke, and was the 
grandfather of W. C. Erwin, of Morganton, and of Mrs. James 
Morris and Mrs. J. L. Byrd, of Marion. A third son, Logan Car- 
son, was the father of Mrs. P. J. Sinclair and Mrs. W. McD. 
Bur gin. 

A. C. Avery. 


2PRING HILL is the name of a community in t 
i heart of the original Scotch settlement of Nor 
' Carolina, and generations of that substant 
> stock have come and gone without loss of t 
' blood or the spirit which is everywhere tbt 

_ _ k g'o''y- 

In this community John Charles McNeill, the poet, was bor 
July 26, 1874, and there he was reared. 

Of the contribution of locality, of blood and of moral and inte 
lectual atmosphere to genius, we can make no proper measor 
But I regard it important to the purpose of this sketeh that tt 
reader first obtain a conception of the Spring Hill r^ion 10 

The land lies low, and the far horizon makes its moving appo 
wherever the eye may fall. The fields present vistas of com m 
cotton and grass, with the woods of cypress and pine and gum i 
the background. The houses are the headquarters of wide 
sweeping and well-kept farms, and the vine and fig tree flourii 
near by. Throughout the settlement winds the Lumber Rivo 
wine-colored, steady, deep, and swift or slow, according to tb 
season ; a darksome stream, where the red-throat, the pidwe 
and the large-mouth bass find homes all to their liking, save io 
the fisher-boy who overtakes them with bob or bait. To spend 
sunset hour beneath the cypress gloom hard by ; to catch the »' 


of the far -circling fields in the stilly hour ; to respond to the color 
of land and heaven and horizon and the sombre quiet all around — 
is to realize that this is the poet's clime. 

"The poet in a poet's clime was born." 

The center of this community is an ancient church, school, and 
temperance hall, the three being within speaking distance of one 
another. Of the civilization of this settlement I need say no 
more ; these are their witnesses. The church was presided over 
throughout these generations by two really great ministers — 
Daniel White, the patron saint — if the Scotch will tolerate that 
term — and John Monroe, the patriarch of the people. It is im- 
possible to measure the impress of these men ; they ministered ac- 
cording to the best traditions of their callings. They were tlic 
wisest, the most eloquent, and the best men their people had ever 
known ; their chosen leaders, their spiritual fathers and daily ex- 
amples. Not only did they dominate the church, the school, and 
the lodge; their lives prevailed over all, and do prevail to lliis day, 
though they have long been gathered to their fathers. 

The temperance lodge was no insignificant member of this 
trinity of social, intellectual, moral, and spiritual springs. Here 
the young people were accustomed to assemble to exercise their 
gifts in entertainments and debates. That there was sufficient 
interest to sustain the institution speaks abundantly of the moral 
fiber of the community, and I could produce an array of facts 
that would convince every other community in North Carolina 
that such an institution is worthy of all that it may require. I 
could name leaders now serving North Carolina who received 
their strongest impressions and found play for their best gifts 
here. So much for the locality. 

John Charles McNeill is a lineal descendant of Daniel White 
and John Monroe; his grandfathers, John McNeill and Charles 
Livint;ston, emigrated from Argyleshire, Scotland, about the be- 
ginning of the nineteenth century. His grandmothers were born 
in America. His father, Duncan McNeill, now enjoying a hale 
old age, and his mother, EuphemJa Livingston, who has lived to 


read the poet's exquisite lines to her, are most excellent people. 
Their home is the typical home of a Scotch farmer and leader^ 
leading man — full of light, rich in books and periodicals and 
music, given to hospitality and generous of comfort, a fireside of 
sweet living and high thinking. Captain McNeill is himself a 
stalwart citizen, fond of public speaking, in which he is accom- 
plished ; devoted to the young, one time an editor and lecturer, a 
writer of verse, an earnest supporter of his church and party, an 
insatiable reader, and, personally, a most delightful companion. 
His wife is likewise a woman of gifts and graces worthy of her 
line ; gentle, all-womanly, her face a delight of sweetness and her 
ways the ways of a mother-heart. Their godly lives adorn their 
confession of Jesus Christ. 

John Charles, born of such parents and reared in such a com- 
munity, spent his youth in the occupations of the farmer's boy. 
His chief task was to "mind the cows/' and he knew also the 
plow and the hoe ; but I have heard it said that he lost many a 
furrow because he would read and plow at the same time. To 
bring the cows home at evening ; to do the chores of the household ; 
to attend school in the hours ; to fish and hunt and roam the woods 
and swim the river and explore the swamps whenever he could — 
these were the other elements of his making. He is to this day a 
woodsman of parts, the trees and flowers and birds and beasts, 
their habits and wants, are known to him as by second nature, and 
likewise, the homely features of farm life, the negro songs and 
customs, the local neer-do- wells, the original characters— one 
would infer upon a brief acquaintance with him that they no less 
than the more innocent children of nature were his peculiar 

He entered school in early youth and proved an apt student 
His preparation being completed in the Spring Hill and Whitc- 
ville academies, he entered Wake Forest College, graduating 
therefrom in 1898 at the head of his class, in recognition of which 
honor he was awarded the privilege of making the valedictory ad- 
dress. His poetic gifts were manifested early in his college 
career, and Professor B. F. Sledd was prompt and diligent to en- 


courage and direct him. In the college magazine his verses often 
appeared, and they were from the first of an order to command 
attention. In fact, while his poetry has gained in range, finish, 
and abundance in the years since, the strain of his first produc- 
tions may yet be traced in all his verse. 

He was chosen to assist Professor Sledd as tutor in the depart- 
ment of English while he was taking his bachelor's degree, and he 
improved the opportunity that was thus aflforded to remain an- 
other year and win from Wake Forest the master's degree — ^the 
highest that the college awards — in 1899. 

In 1900 he was elected assistant professor of Enj 
University, of Georgia ; but after a year he relinqu t 

for the practice of law, having prepared for t 
Wake Forest in 1896-^7, and received from the ; 
North Carolina license to practice in 1897. He ; I 
in Laurinburg — within a few miles of Spring f It 

fortune to spend a day with him during iod. We 

together in his office; there were clients, t < 

obviously foreign to the genius of Mr. McNeill. T 
would be discussing some poem or reading at my req 
his own, in would come some troubled spirit seeking his mce 

in getting back a mule that had been swapped in a no too ^er 

Nevertheless this was a fruitful period in Mr. McNeill's career 
— both as a poet and a lawyer. The Century Magazine readily 
accepted his verses, printed them with illustrations, and encour- 
aged him to send others. On the other hand, clients increased, 
and, moreover, Mr. McNeill's fellow-citizens sent him to the 
General Assembly of North Carolina — a member of the house. 
In this relation he acquitted himself well, bringing to his tasks a 
homely knowledge of his people and a sound common sense. 

But there was no suppressing the higher call. With that fine 
appreciation which has made the Charlotte Observer notable for 
its young men — as well as its "old man" — Editor J. P. Caldwell 
offered Mr. McNeill a place on his staff, with the freedom of the 
paper and the world. I have the editorial announcement to sup- 


port me in the statement that Mr. McNeill was assigned to no 
especial post nor required to perform any particular work. His 
task was to write whatsoever he might be pleased to write. 

We owe it to the Charlotte Observer that Mr. McNeill has bad 
such freedom to exercise his gifts. His poems have come in 
perilous abundance ; and at the same time he has done work as a 
reporter of public occasions that alone would have commanded 
for him a place on his paper. He has also produced no little 
prose of original character and great worth — ^paragraphs portray- 
ing life, humorous incidents, observations; and now and then a 
series of excellent fables as native to the soil and as apropos as 
those of ^sop. 

Mr. McNeill's column of verses promptly commanded the en- 
thusiastic praise of readers throughout the State and of the press 
in other states. He was hailed as a poet indeed, and at the first 
year's end he was unanimously awarded the Patterson Cup, in 
recognition of the fact that he had made the best contribution to 
literature in North Carolina. This cup was presented to Mr. 
McNeill by President Roosevelt. Within the year following Mr. 
McNeill published his one volume entitled "Songs Merry and 
Sad," and the first edition was promptly exhausted. 

Mr. McNeill's poetic gift bears these marks: it is l)rric; it is 
genuine ; it is of the sun rather than the lamp ; it is close to nature 
— the earth, the seasons, man and beast, home, and the daily round 
of experiences. It is suggestive rather than descriptive, and 
spontaneous rather than labored. There is pathos and humor; 
but above either the strain of tenderness is dominant, tenderness 
of phrase and of feeling. One feels that he has yet to strike the 
greater chords, and at the same time he is convinced as he reads 
that he has all but done that, so nearly having attained it, that at 
any moment the larger gift may be ours. 

Such songs as "Oh, Ask Me Not," "A Christmas Hymn," 
"When I Go Home," "Harvest," and "Vision," arc tokens of a 
rich vein of the genuine gold ; while the poems "October," "Sun- 
down," "If I Could Glimpse Him," "Alcestis," "The Bride." 
"Oblivion," "The Caged Mockingbird," "Dawn," "Paul Jones." 










as I have intimated, though they have not yet elevated Mr. Mc- 
Neill above the ranks of the minor poets, they carry a charm, they 
work upon the imagination with a power, they afford a subtle 
joy that bespeaks the noblest promise. 

Since writing the foregoing sketch, the South Atl 
terly has appeared containing a critical appreciation of 
of Mr. McNeill, by Edward K. Graham, professor ot 
literature. He declares that Mr. McNeill is the first ' 
Carolina poet to win the ear of the whole State" ; 
his volume as "the most poetic collection by a North ( 
that has yet appeared." He adds, "At a tii 
lost the appeal of passion, it is peculiarly grj 
the warm confidence of emotion a ys | 
manly, and in its best moments, infi Jy 
Graham's conclusion, on the whole, is impl 
"Conviction of great poetic power feel 

volume, but the presence of the div gift of p y v 
ways sensible of — the gift to min to jd of t 

as when a simple heart-song s ; t t of all 

Thus the scholar's critical insight confirms t public 
which had already chosen Mr. McNeill as the favorite writer of 
all this region. 

Josiah William Bailey, 

While the copy of this sketch was still in the hands of the 
printer the death of Mr. McNeill occurred after a lingering illness 
at his home near Riverton, Scotland County, N. C, October 17, 
1907. Of the many tributes evoked by the sad event, perhaps 
none is more just than that of Dr. Archibald Henderson, of the 
University of North Carolina: 

"The loss to the State of North Carolina in the recent death of John 
Charles McNeill is incalculable. Had I never met or known McNeill I 
should say the same thing. The South will feel his loss more keenly as 
time goes on. I believe that the verse of John Charles McNeill, aside from 
its notable merits as genuine poetry, has been unrivaled as an inspiring 


influence in the remarkable resurgence of literature which promises to give 
North Carolina in the near future a prominence of national moment It 
would be incorrect to speak of the present era as the renaissance of litera- 
ture in North Carolina. It is not a rebirth, but more properly a new, a 
virgin birth. Young men and women, informed with the spirit of scholar- 
ship, touched with the passion for the beautiful, endowed with the divine 
fire itself, have risen up in our midst. The extent and value of their 
achieving is not yet either told or foretold. Almost at the same time 
throughout the State, many voices have found utterance. The younger 
generation is beginning to feci the magic pulse of the Zeitgeist, to shake 
ofif the stifling incubus of materialism, and to give voice at last to the senti- 
ment and passion that is in their hearts. 

"Were I to symbolize North Carolina in a piece of splendid sculpture, I 
should image no Rip Van Winkle, musty with tradition, and prejudices of 
the past, awaking from an ante-bellum dream. It should be represented by 
no man of middle age, fatigued with the heat and labor of the day, strug- 
gling up a steep acclivity to the precarious pinnacle of materialistic suc- 
cess. It should be symbolized as a youth, just stretching his limbs in readi- 
ness for the part he is so soon to play in the spiritual life of the Nation. 
The head should not be hung in shame for imputed backwardness or re- 
belliousness in the past, but held high; the eyes uplifted, the face trans- 
figured by the light of the ideal, and wearing an expression which gladly 
says Yea to all the Universe. And the face of this statue should be the 
face of John Charles McNeill. 

"I could not, even though my heart bade, nor would I wholly, even though 
language might not fail me, express all that I feel and have felt over the 
death of John Charles McNeill. Liking, friendship, love are all so strange, 
so unique, so different from one another that the world has fallen into 
the slovenly habit of confusing the terms. I cannot say that I liked' Mc- 
Neill or that he had my 'friendship ;' the world is already too full of people 
who never get beyond mere 'liking,* and who never mention 'friends' save 
to boast of their number and importance in the world. But I can say that 
McNeill had my love, and that I was drawn toward him as to few qsen 
of my own age that I have ever known. There was about him the sim- 
plicity and the charm, if not of innocence, certainly of native gentleness. 
He had something of the primal, I might almost say the primeval, joy of 
life in his make-up. Here was a genius without the Weltschmerz, a poet 
lacking that devitalizating note of poignant melancholy which sounds 
throughout the poetry of the modern era, from Bums to Maeterlinck, from 
Heine to George Meredith. There was no tear engraved upon his armorial 
bearings. His was not that bafHing and artificial simplicity, which in our 
day is the last refuge of complexity. He loved simple things — the pine- 
rosin which a tiny girl gathered and sent him all the way to Charlotte to 


chew, a homely and human story about some old darkey, 3 superstition 
about planting something or other in the dark of the moon, a I'oik-lore lost 
to the tumultuous world of street-cars, but still very vital in ihe life of 
people who live close to the heart of nature. McNeill, in all he said and 
did, was racy of the soil. The modern world had not robbed him of his 
primitive glamour, and his native wood-notes wild poured forth in a stream 
of wonderful richness, in total disregard of the noise and blatant clamor of 
modern populations. 

"The old tag 'Human nature is the same the world over' expresses one 
of the greatest errors ever compressed in a phrase. Human nature is 
different everywhere, by reason of the mere inequality of its distribution. 
Our phrase 'He's just like folks' is a high compliment; it tnt-ans that the 
(ubject has a great deal of human nature in his composition. McNeill was 
charged to overflowing with human nature. His humor was unfailing. 
The things that stuck in bis mind were not clever epigrams or brilliant bits 
of repartee. He loved to remember stories of large and genial humor, ex- 
hibiting some comical betrayal of human nature, illuminating some fine 
phase of human feeling. His spirit was sweet and gentle — l>c)ond words. 
Harshness or bitterness seemed never to have touched him. Incidents 
that might well have grated harshly upon the sensibilities of any man 
left him unmarked and unprejudiced. He turned unpleasantness away 
with an easy and genial smile. 

"The conceit of men of lalcnt and of genius — artists, musicians, littera- 
teurs — is proverbial. I have observed traces of it even in the greatest 
men of genius I have ever met, McNeill was utterly lacking, as much as 
I can conceive it possible for any one to be, in all conceit or false pride. 
Coventry Patmore has said that true genius is never aware of itself. Mc- 
Neill discussed his own poetry with perfect detachment If there was any 
quality which he utterly lacked, it was self -consciousness. He discussed 
his own poetry as though it were the work of some one else. 'Here's 
a little thing of mine,' he would say, 'that was copied from Maine to 
Florida. There's absolutely nothing in it. Why any one should have 
thought it funny is simply more than I can understand.' And with equal 
lack of the faintest trace of embarrassment, vanity or tnauvaise hotile he 
could say, 'Here's another little poem of mine 1 am very fond of. I think 
it is one of the best I have done.' And with a note of genuine pride, be 
would say, 'Let me read you this one. The old man likes it,' and then, 
in that rich, mellow voice, he would give music and color to the beauty of 
his lines. I shall never forget the pleasure he once gave a New England 
woman— a person of fine sensibilities and herself a writer of verse. She 
was rapturously enthusiastic over his recital of his simple dialect poems 
'Wire Grass," 'Po' Baby,' and 'Spring.' 

"As a lover of nature. McNeill was without an equal in sincerity and 


faith. As a student of nature, he was in no sense remarkable in the 
demic signfication. He neither knew nor cared to know the sesqui] 
Latin name of some favorite little flower ; he did not pretend to the chemi- 
cal secrets of the soil survey; technical obfuscations of any sort were not 
for him. He knew nature not as a botanist but as a poet, not as a scien- 
tific naturalist but as a nature lover. Like Wait Whitman, rather than 
like John Burroughs, he was skilled, through close acquaintance and inter- 
ested observation, in many curious and half -forgotten secrets of Nature 
and her creatures which do not find their way into the text-book. I never 
saw him without thinking of Whitman's poem about the student in as- 
tronomy who fled from the lecturer out into the night, there to lie down 
and look up at the stars in worshipful wonder and adoration. 

"I shall never forget a reading McNeill once gave us here at Chapel Hill 
— a running fire of dialect verse, humorous commentary, negro anecdotes, 
and folk-lore tales. It was, without exception, the most successful so- 
called 'reading' — story-telling in prose and poetry were a fitter term of 
description — that I have ever known. With curious interest, I glanced 
around for a moment to observe the utter absorption in McNeill's per- 
sonality and its expression. There was not one person in that audience not 
wholly oblivious of surroundings, of self, of all else save McNeill whose 
fine face lit up with a humorous glow and mellow, resonant voice with its 
subtle note of appeal, held them bound as by some mystic spell of sorcery. 
And McNeill often told me afterward that the audience that night, for 
inspiration and perfect sympathy, was without a parallel in his experience. 

"I have never been able to rid myself of the feeling that John Charles 
McNeill has not been accurately or discriminatingly praised for some certain 
things he did supremely well. * Songs, Merry and Sad' threatened to sup- 
press the fact that McNeill was pre-eminently a poet of the common life, 
a singer of the farm, the field, the home. Many things which I believed to 
be fundamentally characteristic of McNeill as poet found no place in this 
collection. Things which I had loved to love and to expect from hira 
— the negro and Scotch dialect poems, certain fancies about spring, half- 
remembered, even poetically divined sketches of early home and beloved 
countryside — of these there were only traces. Indeed, in spite of the versa- 
tility displayed and wide range covered, I could not but fed the minimiza- 
tion, if not actual suppression, of that phase of McNeill's art which most 
appealed to me. Those who know McNeill's poetry only as revealed in 
'Songs, Merry and Sad' may be betrayed into ranging him alongside 
Mifilin, Moody, Arthur Stringer, John Vance Cheney, and Charles Hanson 
Towne, for comparison. Wider acquaintance with his poetry, I am inclined 
to think, would reveal that he is far more akin to Maurice Thompson. 
Frank L. Stanton, and James Whitcomb Riley. Dozens of poems not m- 
cludcd in 'Songs, Merry and Sad' — and, of those included, 'When I go 


Home,' 'Barefooted' and 'Before Bedtime' — at once call to mind the specific 
features of Riley as revealed in such poems as 'Thinkin' Back' and 'Wet 
Weather Talk.' There is the same large sense of lazy, rural ease, the 
cUucklins air of boyish freedom, the vivid pictures of the simple pleasures, 
occupations, and discussions of farm life. I have often fell, in reading 
many of McNeill's fugitive lines in the CItarlolle Observer, that he had a 
hiunorous, quaint, backwoods sense of homely values not unlike the same 
qualities in the short poems of Frank L. Stanton. I do noi mean that the 
mode of expression was necessarily the same; the feelings played upon, 
the sentiments evoked, were identical. There was at times, in McNeill's 
verse, the careless or carefree instinct of truantry as wi 
in the prose of writers so diverse as Robert Louis Stcv 
Wister. and Harry Stillwell Edwards. McNeill expressed for me the in- 
dividual and significant note of the rural South, much as Joel Chandler 
Harris may be said to express it in his own fashion. The natural feeling, 
the simple ideals of McNeill— frankness, loyalty, love, honor, courage — 
were irresistibly appealing in their mere numerical limitalio:). Lacking any 
trace of the sectional, McNeill had a fine sense for local color and the 
genius of place. And yet there was no hint in his poetry of that strained 
and artificial idealism which mars much that has been written in the South. 
"In his brief and homely realism, his fancy so quaint and simple, McNeill 
was a master. Though it is not, I feel, the most apt illustration that might 
be found, the little poem 'Before Bedtime' suits my purpose for the mo- 
ment in expressing that fine fidelity to fact, that pedestrian realism which 
is given only to spirits nursed on reality to achieve. 
" 'The cat sleeps in a chimney jam 

With ashes in her fur. 
An' Tige, from on the yiilher side. 

He keeps his eye on her, 

" 'The jar o' curds is on the hearth, 
.\n' I'm the one to turn it. 
Ill crawl in bed an' go to sleep 
When maw begins to churn it. 

" 'Paw bends to read his almanax 
An' study out the weather, 
.An' bud has got a gound o' grease 
To ilc his harness leather. 

"'Sis looks an' looks into the fire. 
Half-squint in' through her lashes. 
An' I jis watch my later where 

It shoots smoke through the ashes.' 


"For imaginative power of evocation of a familiar scene utterly simple 
and without any glamour of interest save that of fond association, this 
poem is illustrative of one of the things McNeill could do supremely well 

''In his poems of nature, McNeill carries me back, less to Bums -with his 
spirit's cry of poignant pain, than to Wordsworth with his brooding quiet. 
There is even a faint note of sestheticism now and then, notably in the 
Carmanesque 'Protest;' like a true modern poet, McNeill is fired to revolt 
against this materialistic age, this twilight of the gods of poetry. McNeill's 
admiration for the 'Marpessa' of Stephen Phillips was immense; and I 
have felt at times that he would have liked to owe something to Swinburne. 
The philosophic didacticism of Bryant, the almost scientific moodiness of 
Poe, find no answering note in the poetry of McNeill. Indeed, he is con- 
tent to observe with rare accuracy, letting Nature speak its message to you 
in its own most potent of tongues. McNeill was essentially an observer, 
not an interpreter of Nature's moods. Instead of explaining, he re-created 
Nature, and was strong enough to hold his tongue and let Nature speak 
for herself. What need for words, either of interpretation, inspiration or 
regret, in face of the mute eloquence of such a picture. 

(( < 

A soaking sedge, 

A faded field, a leafless hill and hedge. 

Low clouds and rain. 

And loneliness and languor worse than pain. 

Mottled with moss. 

Each gravestone holds to heaven a patient Cross. 

" 'Shrill streaks of light 
Two sycamores' clean-limbed, funereal white. 

ii t 

ii i 

ti t 

And low between. 

The sombre cedar and the ivy green. 

<( < 

Upon the stone 

Of each in turn who called this land his own 

« < 

tt t 

The gray rain beats 

And wraps the wet world in its fiying sheets. 

And at my eaves 

A slow wind, ghostlike, comes and grieves and grieves,* 

"And how worshipful in its submissive calm and adorative contempla- 
tion is that brief poem 'Sundown,' which always calls up for me the most 
exquisite aesthetic moment of my life — a post-sunset creation of God in sky. 


crescent moon, earth and mountain I once saw, or rather lived, in the 
Appalachians— a recollection that moves me profoundly even n I write: 

"'Hills, wrapped in gray, standing along the west; 
Clouds, dimly lighted, gathering slowly; 
The star of peace at watch above the crests 
Oh, holy, holy, holy I 

" 'We know, O Lord, so little what is best; 
Wingless, we move so lowly; 
But in Thy calm all -knowledge let us rest— 
Oh, holy, holy, holyl' 

"If McNeill had lived, and had regained his health, t am convinced that 
his poetry would have shown a finish, a dexterity of workmanship, a refine- 
ment of poetic craftsmanship of which he was fully capable on occasion. 
How often he delighted with a happy line, a transient imaging of a fanciful 
concept, or a crystallization in one fine phrase of the spirituai content of 
his thought! He has told me many times that his future aim was toward 
greater perfection of phrase, clearer delineation of motive. In introducing 
him before our Modern Literature Qub. I pronounced him ihe most au- 
thentic poet North Carolina has yet produced. It is my definite conviction 
that McNeill is not fully known through 'Songs, Merry and Sad' for those 
traits which are most signally characteristic of his temperament, for those 
qualities in which he was most individual. But by this I do not mean the 
faintest detraction from the many and varied merits of 'Songs, Merry and 
Sad.' In fact, I was glad to learn from McNeill himself that the poem 
in this volume which I rated highest was also his own preference, the one 
in which he felt his purpose and art best expressed. This poem, judged 
by Richard Watson Gilder lo be worthy of Bryon himself, is 'Oh. Ask Me 
Not." We feel ourselves in the presence of the abandon of youth, the 
genuine heart's cry of 'The world well lost for love.' 

' 'Love, should I set my heart upon a crow 
Squander my years, and gain it. 
What recompense of pleasure could I ow 
For youth's red drops would stain it 

'"Much have I thought on what our lives i 
And what their best endeavor. 
Seeing we may not come again to glean, 
But, losing, lose forever. 


" 'Seeing how zealots, making choice of i>aiii« 
From home and country parted. 
Have thought it life to leave their fellows diin, 
Their women broken-hearted. 

"How teasing truth a thousand faces claims 
As in a broken mirror. 
And what a father died for in the flames 
His own son scorns as error; 

" 'How even they whose hearts were sweet with song 
Must quaff oblivion's potion. 
And, soon or late, their sails be lost along 
The all-surrounding ocean. 

" *0h, ask me not the haven of our ships, 
Nor what flag floats above you! 
I hold you close, I kiss your sweet, sweet lips, 
And love you, love you, love you!' 

"McNeill once told me that while he regarded the central situation of 
'The Bride' the most potently significant, the most fraught with meaning 
that can be conceived, he always felt that he had not fully measured op 
to the opportunity and the situation. Perhaps it may be true that our 
reserves are often more eloquent than our confidences. The office of poetiy 
is not to exhaust possibilities. The selection of that moment of inexpres- 
sible meaning in life was in itself a stroke of genius. 

" 'The little white bride is left alone 
With him, her lord; the guests have gone; 

The festal hall is dim. 
No jesting now, nor answering mirth. 
The hush of sleep falls on the earth 
And leaves her here with him. 

" 'Why should there be, O little white bride, 
When the world has left you by his side, 

A tear to brim your eyes? 
Some old love-face that comes again, 
Some old love-moment sweet with pain 

Of passionate memories? 

" 'Does your heart yearn back with last regret 
For the maiden meads of mignonette 
And the fairy-haunted wood. 


That you had not withheld from love, 
A little while, the freedom of 
Your happy maidenhood? 

" *0r is it but a nameless fear, 
A wordless joy, that calls the tear 

In dumb appeal to rise, 
When, looking on him where he stands, 
You yield up all into his hands, 

Pleading into his eyes? 

" Tor days that laugh or nights that weep 
You two strike oars across the deep 

With life's tide at the brim; 
And all time's beauty, all love's grace 
Beams, little bride, upon your face 

Here, looking up at him.' 

"If there is any one poem which best expresses the real sweetness, the 
high seriousness, of McNeill's character, and the finer nature of his poetic 
muse, I should say that it was 'To Melvin Gardner : Suicide.' It is instinct 
with the quintessential traits of McNeill both as poet and man. To 
dilate the imagination and to move the heart is ample raison d'itre for 
any poem. 

** *A flight of doves, with wanton wings, 

Flash white against the sky. 
In the leafy copse an oriole sings. 

And a robin sings hard by. 
Sun and shadow are out on the hills; 
The swallow has followed the daffodils; 
In leaf and blade, life throbs and thrills 

Through the wild, warm heart of May. 

" 'To have seen the sun come back, to have seen 

Children again at play. 
To have heard the thrush where the woods are green. 

Welcome the new-born day, 
To have felt the soft grass cool to the feet, 
To have smelt earth's incense, heavenly sweet, 
To have shared the laughter along the street. 

And, then, to have died in May! 

'A thousand roses will blossom red, 

A thousand hearts be gay. 
For the summer lingers just ahead 

And June is on her way; 

(I i 


The bee must bestir him to fill his cells, 
The moon and the stars will weave new spells 
Of love and the music of marriage bells — 
And, oh, to be dead in May I' 

"In Avery and McNeill the State has sustained losses not to be filled 
perhaps in a generation. Avery's hold upon the public was truly astound- 
ing ; his audience was almost incredibly large ; and I have often wondered 
how many people there were in the world who always turned first of all to 
the column marked 'Idle Comments' in the Charlotte Observer. Avery ex- 
pressed in prose of simple pathos and universal sentiment the piquancy, 
poetry, and romance of everyday life, the humor and the glamour of tous 
les jours. He dwelt lovingly upon the little touching incidents daily en- 
tering into the life of the man-in-the-street. His vein of quiet and delicate 
humor finds its analogue in Owen Wister. Avery always impressed me 
as an American Charles Lamb of journalism, with a tremendous infusion 
of sentiment. His appeal to the popular heart seemed to arise from his 
power of expressing those sentiments of tender and romantic content 
which this garish twentieth century has not yet quite succeeded in de- 
stroying here in the South. 

*'In his own way, individual, unique, McNeill likewise expressed sentiment 
— strong, manly, sincere. His instrument was the finer of the two, and his 
triumph lay in his reserve. Strength and sweetness are the most funda- 
mental notes in the symphony of his art. His heart was genuine and true. 
His mood was never distorted by hopeless regret, futile despair, or catch- 
penny pessimism. His sentiment rang out clear and true — free from all 
taint of modern morbidity. Sentimentality had no place in his make-iqi. 
Gentleness and not softness, real feeling and not imaginative emotional- 
ism, informed his verse. And his ideal of art was fine and noble. Such a 
phrase as 'his widowed sea' in 'Paul Jones' is worth a dozen poems of the 
minor singers of to-day, and left the impression of potential greatness. 
I earnestly hope that the manuscript of the volume of poems McNeill read 
to me last spring will soon find its way to publication. Then we shall have 
even more convincing evidence that there has passed from our midst^ 
and left us profoundly sorrowing, yet not before we have learned to ad- 
mire and to love him, a fine and gentle spirit who was not only a talent 
in esse but a genius in futuro — ^John Charles McNeill 


HE Mebane family of Orange Coun^, N. C, 
wliicii has gone out from this home into the 
adjoining counties of Caswell, Alamance and 
Guilford, in North Carolina, and into the states 
of Tennesse:, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiana, 
Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas and elsewhere, 
canie originally from the north of Ireland, and we may confidently 
assume tJiat thej' belonged to that masterful people, the Scotch- 
Irish — a people Scotch in blood, but modified by long residence on 
Irish soil. 

Besides the official documents to be found in the Colonial and 
State Records the history of the family has come down to us in 
a sketch, all too brief, written by James Mebane, about 1850, for 
Caruthers' "Revolutionary Incidents in the Old North State." 
As he was a man of education, intelligence, and experience and a 
grandson of the North Carolina immigrant, we may assume that 
his sketch, which has been copied almost verbatim in Wheeler's 
"Reminiscences," and is here much condensed and reinforced by 
references from the Records, is substantially correct. 

According to this account, the founder of the American family 
is Alexander Mebane, who first settled in Pennsylvania; from 
that colony he came south between 1744 and 1751 and settled at 
the Hawfields in Orange County. We are told that he was in- 
dustrious, upright, thrifty, and that he acquired considerable 


property. We find that on April i, 1751, Alexander "Maybeen" 
was commissioned a J. P. for Bladen G>unty (Col. Rcc., iv, 
p. 1243). Now Orange was formed in 1752 from Granville, 
Johnston and Bladen and we may safely assume that this J. P. 
was the immigrant. He was also appointed by the act creating 
the county the first sheriff of Orange and was made a vestryman 
of St. Matthew's parish (State Rec, xxii, p. 384). In 1754 he 
was a commissioner to fix the location of the county court of 
Orange and in 1757 was again made a J. P. Col. Rec., v, p. 813; 
S. R., XXV, p. 272). In 1755 as "major of militia in the county 
of Orange" and in absence of the commanding colonel he lays 
before Governor Dobbs "the defenseless state of said county" 
and makes certain recommendations in the premises (v, p. 365) ; 
in April of that year he was recommended for lieutenant-colonel 
(xxii, 366). He is again mentioned in connection with the 
Regulation troubles, for in 1768 he, or his son of the same name, 
was nominated as a juror in Orange (vii, p. 842) and on April 13th 
of that year Edmund Fanning orders "Captain Mebane" and 
others to raise militia to check the Regulators (vii, p. 707). 
These troops were to rendezvous at "Colonel Mebane's," but they 
refused to muster and "Captain Mebane" and others were then 
appointed a committee to treat with "the most reasonable of the 
rioters" (vii, p. 710). The sketch by James Mebane quoted 
above says that he was "commissioned colonel" under the royal 
government. If such was the case I have found no further con- 
firmation than the above incidental references. He was made a 
J. P. by the Provincial Congress in December, 1776, and seems 
to have held the office till 1789, when he resigned (xxiii, p. 995; 
xxi, pp. 243, 249, 605). 

Alexander Mebane, the immigrant, had six sons and six daugh- 
ters, all of whom but one married, while most of them reared 
families in Orange. The sons were: (i) William; (2) Robert; 
(3) Alexander; (4) John; (5) James; (6) David. As wc 
have seen, in the Regulation troubles he and his sons were sup- 
porters of the government. When the Revolutionary struggle 
began they became strong Whigs and active defenders of Ameri- 


can liberty. The father had many Tory neighbors and suffered 
much from their depredations. The Tories burnt his barns and 
fences; plundered his dwelling and took away everything they 
could carry. The sons all saw service in one form or another in 
behalf of independence. 

I shall now give a brief sketch of each of these sons. The 
oldest was William. He was a captain in the militia, probably the 
"Captain Mebane" already mentioned in connection with the 
R^;ulators. He signed the protest against the Hillsboro riots 
drawn up by the Loyal Regulators' Association in 1770 (vii, 
pp. 273, 274) and perhaps was the one of that name who signed 
the petition for the pardon of Hunter, the Regulator leader 
{ix, pp. 86, 87), but we have no particular record of liis military 
service. He was in the Assembly from Orange in [782; was 
also a member of the convention which met in Hillsboro in 
July, 1788, and like his better known brother was a consistent 
opponent of the Federal Constitution. He was twice married, 
first to Miss Abercrombie, second to Miss Rainey (Wheeler 
reverses this order), but left no children by either marriage. 

Robert Mebane played a more important military role than 
any of his brothers and his career is fairly well preserved in the 
Slate Records. His first service was with Rutherford in his 
expedition against the Overhill Cherokees in 1776, when the 
Indians were defeated and their towns and crops destroyed. He 
was commissioned as lieutenant-colonel of the Seventh regiment 
(called also battalion), North Carolina Continental Line, Novem- 
ber 24, 1776, being next in authority to Colonel James Hogun; 
during the summer of 1777 he was stationed in Halifax, was 
transferred to the First North Carolina battalion June i, 1778, 
in place of Lieu ten ant -Col on el William Davis (xv, p. 476) and 
saw service in the north that summer {xii, pp. 497, 504, 514, 530, 
etc.) When Hogun was made a brigadier-general Mebane was 
promoted to a colonelcy, his commission being dated February g, 
1779. In April, 1779, he was in command of the Third regi- 
ment (xiv, p. 70) and was ordered to North Carolina to recruit 
(xiv, p. 292; XV, pp. 724, 725, 749). He was again in Halifax 


during that summer, but his health was then so bad that his retire- 
ment from the army seemed inevitable; he recovered, however, 
for he proceeded under orders with Hogun to Charleston and was 
captured at its fall in May, 1780 (xiv, pp. xi, 293, 817). We 
find him again in Granville in 1 781, when he was seeking cloth- 
ing for troops, and from this time was engaged in partisan war- 
fare to his death in October, 1781, which may be told in the words 
of the original narrative : 

"Colonel Robert Mebane was a man of undoubted courage and 
activity. . . . He was in many battles and skirmishes with the 
British and Tories. At the battle of Cane Creek [against Fanning 
in September, 1781, on his retreat from Hillsboro after capturing 
Governor Burke. See S. R. xxii, p. 207] he displayed great prowess 
and valor and fought hero-like. General Butler having ordered a 
retreat Colonel Mebane rushed before the retreating army and, by 
violent efforts, got a part of them stopped, and gained a victory. 
Toward the close of the battle, ammunition becoming scarce, he 
passed along the line carrying powder in his hat and distributing it 
among the soldiers, encouraging and animating them to persevere 
in the bloody strife. He was afterward with his regiment on the 
waters of the Cape Fear [still following Fanning], contending with 
the Tories; but being notified that his services were needed in the 
northern part of the State, he set out accompanied only by his 
servant. On the way, he came upon a noted Tory and horse thief, 
by the name of Henry Hightower, who was armed with a British 
musket. Knowing him, and perhaps too fearless and regardless of 
the consequences, he pursued him and when within striking dis- 
tance with his arm uplifted, Hightower wheeled and shot him. . . . 
In person he was large, strong, active and of commanding appear- 


To this account Caruthers adds other facts gathered from 
Nathaniel Slade, who had been on more than one expedition with 
Robert Mebane. He says that after Mebane had by his efforts 
changed the Cane Creek skirmish from a defeat into a drawn 
battle he went to General Butler, the commanding officer, told 
him that he had disobeyed orders and offered him his sword, 
which Butler declined to take. He then continues: 

"Immediately after the battle of Cane Creek, General Butler col- 


lected as many men as possible, . . . and pursued the Tories. Slade 
and Mebane were both on this expedition, . , . but they did not over- 
take the Tories and could not rescue the governor. At a place called 
the Brown Marsh they met a party of British and Tories, and a 
skirmish ensued. Slade told me that Butler, under the impression 
that the enemy had field pieces, ordered a retreat after the first fire 
and set the example himself; but Mebane did just as he had done on 
C%ne Creek, disobeyed orders, rallied as many men as he could, and 
continued to fight till they were overpowered by numbers, or by Brit- 
ish discipline, and were obliged to retreat. Slade said that he was 
not far from Mebane, and heard him giving his orders in a bold, 
strong voice. 'Now give it to them, boys,— fire,' ... It was on hii 
return from this expedition that he was killed, . . . and his death was 
much regretted by the Whig party." 

Colonel Robert Mebane left no descendants. 

The most distinguished member of the family in the second 
generation, however, was Alexander Mebane, 2d, who was born 
in Pennsylvania, November 26, 1744. It is probable that Jiis 
father came to North Carolina soon after the birth of this son, 
for as we have seen he became a justice of the peace in April, 
1751. It is certain that the son grew to manhood in Orange 
County. He was perhaps a wagoner in the Regulation campaign 
and is there styled "captain" (xxii, p. 475). The first certain 
reference to him in the Colonial Records is as a member of the 
last Provincial Congress of North Carolina, but as he had been 
chosen at a special election and did not take his seat till December 
16, 1776, he had little opportunity to show his capacity. He was 
appointed by this Congress a J. P. and in July, 1777, became 
sheriff of Orange, In 1780-81 he was commissioner of specific 
supplies for Orange and in September, 1780, we find the Board of 
War ordering him to gatJier supplies for the defeated army of 
Gates (xiv, pp. 386, 387, 433, 639. 640). His most important 
work seems to have been as a member of the General Assembly. 
He represented Orange in the lower house in 1783 and 1784 and 
in 1787 to 1792. inclusive, where he served on important com- 
mittees and in 1788 was chairman of the whole. He was a com- 
missioner to repair the public buildings in Hillsboro in 1782 and 
auditor of Hillsboro district in 1783 and 1784; was elected col- 


onel of cavalry for Hillsboro district in 1788 and brigadier-gen- 
eral in 1789, although against his desire (xxi, pp. 330, 666). 

He was a member of the Hillsboro Convention of 1788 from 
Orange County, and of the Fayetteville Convention of 1789 and 
was one of those prescient radicals who, like his neighbors David 
Caldwell and Thomas Person, voted uniformly against the 
adoption of the Federal Constitution. He was a member of the 
first board of trustees of the University of North Carolina and 
was elected a representative in the Third Congress, 1793-95- He 
was elected to the Fourth Congress, but died in Orange County, 
N. C, July 5, 1795. He was distinguished for his sound practical 
sense, his unblemished integrity and unflinching firmness. He 
married in February, 1767, Miss Mary Armstrong, of Orange 
County, and by her had twelve children, four sons and eight 
daughters ; all of the sons and seven of the daughters married and 
had families. One of his sons was James Mebane, who represented 
Orange County in the lower house in 1818, 1820-24, was speaker 
in 1 82 1 and was in the senate in 1828. He had been one of the 
earliest students in the University of North Carolina and a 
founder of the Dialectic Society. His wife was Elizabeth, the 
only child of William Kinchen, and one of their sons was the late 
Giles Mebane of Caswell County. William, another son of 
General Alexander Mebane, lived at Mason Hall, Orange County, 
while another, Dr. John Alexander Mebane, resided in Greens- 
boro; their sister, Frances, married Rev. William D. Paisley, 
while another, Elizabeth, married William H. Goodloe, of Madi- 
son County, Miss. Wheeler states that General Alexander Me- 
bane married as his second wife Miss Claypole, of Philaddphii. 

John Mebane, the fourth brother, also saw service in the Revo- 
lution. I have found one reference to John Mebane as "private 
and captain" (xxii, p. 76), but I know of nothing to identify 
him with the family of whom I am writing. In the absence of 
documentary materials we must again have access to the Narra- 
tive of James Mebane. He says: 

"Colonel John Mebane. late of Chatham County, entered as cap- 
tain in the service of his country in the time of the Revolution. 


When Hillsboro was taken by the British and Tories, the Toriei 
commanded by the notorious David Fanning, he was captured and 
with Thomas Burke, governor of the State, and William Kinchen and 
others, was marched under the Tory Colonel McDugal, who, 
although there was an attempt made by the Whigs to rescue them at 
Lindley's Mill [Cane Creek], succeeded in taking them to Wilming- 
ton, N, C, when they were put on board a prison ship and from 
there taken to Charleston, S. C. where they were still confined on 
board the ship for a long time, suffering extremely by the privations, 
heat, filth and vermin and the diseases common on board prison 
»hips. As John Mebane and William Kinchen after their release 
were on their way home, Kinchen was taken sick and died. , . . 
Colonel John Mebane, late of Chatham County, was elected for thai 
tounty, and served in the house of commons of the General As- 
sembly in ITQO, 1791. 1792. 1753 [also J79S], 1798 to 1803 [also 1807], 
1808, 1809. 1811. About the close of the war [of the Revolution] he 
married Mrs. Sarah Kinchin, widow of William Kinchin, who died 
on his way home from the prison ship at Charleston, 5. C. by whom 
he had one son, John Briggs Mebane, who represented the county 
in the house of commons in 1813, and one daughter, who married 
Thomas Hill, of Rockingham County." 

John Mebane's will is dated May 31, 1834, 

James Mebane, the fifth son, was also in the public service. 
He is probably the same as the James Mebane, sheriff of Orange 
County, who on May 21, 1784, was allowed £70 for executing 
fourteen criminals (xix, pp. 555, 558, 629, 637). In the same 
year he was a commissioner to repair the public buildings in 
Hillsboro and Salisbury. In December, 1789, he was nominated 
as commissioner of confiscated property for Hillsboro district, 
and in 1790 was settling his accounts with the State. Mr. James 
Mebane's Narrative says: 

"Captain James Mebane was also actively employed during the 
Revolutionary war. He married Margaret Allen, of the Hawfield!, 
by whom he had a large family of children. He died some years 
before his wife." 

David Mebane, the youngest son of Alexander Mebane, Sr., 
does not appear in the Colonial and State Records, but he served 
two terms in the militia and his campaigns were probably tours 
of duty to put down Tory marauders. He represented Orange 



County in the house of commons in 1808, 1809 and 1810. He 
married Miss Ann Allen of the Hawfields and had a large family 
of children, one of whom was George A. Mebane, of Mason 
Hall, merchant and postmaster, who was the father of Cornelius 
Mebane and grandfather of Robert S. Mebane, now secretary 
and treasurer of the Alamance Cotton Mills at Graham, N. C 
After the death of his first wife David Mebane married Mrs. 
Elizabeth Yancey, of Caswell County, by whom he had a daugh- 
ter, Martha Holt, of Arkansas. He died several years before 
his last wife. 

From this brief record it will be seen that few families in 
North Carolina contributed more to the founding of the com- 
monwealth than did that of Alexander Mebane, of Grange 

Stephen B. Weeks, 


until the close of the civil war, when he removed to Caswell 
County, where he resided until in extreme age he was induced 
to give up farmnig and make his home in Graham, where he 
and his wife could enjoy the daily ministrations of a devoted 

In 1837 he was married to Miss Mary Catherine Yancey, 
daughter of Bartlett Yancey, of Caswell County. Of Bartlett 
Yancey it is said that, although he died in the prime of life, he 
had attained greater distinction than any other North Carolinian 
had ever attained at his age. The wedded life of Mr. and Mrs. 
Mebane was one of ideal happiness. For more than sixty-two 
years they were permitted to dwell together without so much as 
a shadow of discord or mutual mistrust upon their hearthstone. 
Several children were born to them, four of whom — ^Mrs. L 
Banks Holt, of Graham, N. C. ; Mrs. E. C. Mebane, of Greens- 
boro, N. C. ; Mrs. Fannie Smith, of Charlotte County, Va., and 
D. Y. Mebane, Esq., of Caswell County, N. C. — survive to 
bless the widowhood of their aged and revered mother. Of the 
others, Bettie, the eldest daughter, married C. P. Mebane, and 
died, leaving three children; Virginia, the fourth daughter, 
married Mr. John E. Robertson, of Caswell County, and at her 
death left one child ; and the youngest daughter, Susan, died in 
young womanhood, unmarried. At the time of his death, the 
number of Mr. Mebane's children, grandchildren and great- 
grandchildren aggregated forty-four. 

His first appearance in public life was in 1844, when he repre- 
sented Orange County in the house of commons, to which 
position he was reelected in 1846, and again in 1848. In the first 
year of his legislative career he commanded such confidence 
among the leaders of the Whig party that he was invited to par- 
ticipate in the conference of the Whig leaders held in Raleigh in 
that year, while Henry Clay was canvassing the South as their 
candidate for the presidency. He was cognizant of the writing 
of the famous letter sent out from Raleigh by Mr. Clay, and 
which is said to have cost him his election. In the legislature 
of 1848-49 he introduced the bill to erect the county of Alamance. 


The name of the county was suggested by Mrs. Mebane, in 
memory of the battle of Alamance. The town of Graham was 
named by Mr. Mebane himself in honor of Governor Graham. 
At the same session of the legislature, Mr. Mebane used his 
influence successfully to secure a charter for the North Carolina 
Railroad, and to prevent the forfeiture of the charter by lack of 
subscriptions, he subscribed for an amount of stock in excess of 
his own fortune, and paid his subscription by taking a contract 
and building six miles of the road. In 1S54 we find him repre- 
senting the new county of Alamance in the house of commons, 
and again in the "trying times" of i860 On December 10, i860, 
as a member of the committee on federal relations, he signed the 
minority report protesting against voting on the question of call- 
ing a convention on February 7, 1861. The four years following 
he was state senator from Alamance and Randolph, and president 
of the senate. In 1865 he was a member of the Constitutional 
Convention. After his removal to Caswell he was, in 1878, 
elected to the senate by the twentieth senatorial district, em- 
bracing the counties of Orange, Caswell and Person ; and it was 
he who introduced the bill to compromise and settle the state 
debt, a measure which reestablished the credit of North Carolina 
en a sound basts. 

In politics Mr. Mebane was, as I have already intimated, 
a Whig before the civil war, ardently opposing secession until 
South Carolina and Virginia seceded. When it seemed for a 
time that North Carolina would be the battle-ground of the 
"irrepressible conflict," he espoused the cause of the Confederacy, 
and gave it his steadfast, unfailing support to the last. When 
the war ended, he allied himself with the Democratic party. 

Giles Mebane was a "just man who eschewed evil." Pure in 
heart and speech, and blameless in his daily walk, he was from 
«arly manhood a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, 
and was for many years an efficient and influential ruling elder. 
He was a gentleman of the old school, uniformly considerate and 
courteous: frank without being rude or brusque; firm in his 
convictions, and courageous in maintaining them, yet so tolerant 


in spirit and charitable in speech, that he never irritated his 
opponents, making friends among men of all shades of political 
and religious belief. And his generous spirit toward others 
was rewarded by public confidence such as few men enjoy. It 
was no small compliment that he was when advanced in life 
elected to the senate as a Democrat in a district which had been 
till then overwhelmingly Republican. 

As a lawyer, he was ready and accurate in his knowledge of 
the law ; frank, sincere and wise in his counsel ; and preeminently 
successful, not only in protecting the interests of his clients, but 
in warding off unnecessary and harmful litigation. He gave his 
advice rather for the good of others than with a view to filling 
his own pockets, quite unlike the shysters by whom the legal 
profession is so often disgraced. In public speech he was earnest, 
direct, logical, convincing, often eloquent, and always courteous. 

In social life he was a delightful companion. Rarely gifted in 
mind and memory, his talk was wise, instructive and cheerfuL 
He lived in the present and in the future. Instead of brooding 
over disagreeable experiences, his thoughts dwelt upon the pleas- 
ant and amusing things of life; and his memory was like *'t 
basket of summer fruit." 

Living far beyond the three-score-and-ten which the Psalmist 
counted the ordinary limit of human life, Mr. Mebane was re- 
markably free from many of the common infirmities of old age. 
His hearing became defective, but eyesight and memory were 
excellent. To the last he continued to be a diligent student of 
public affairs, and his views of public men and current events 
were always original, interesting and just. 

He died as he had lived — ^an humble, sincere and cheerful 
Christian. When his last illness came, he felt a premonition of 
his departure, and let it be known that he was ready. Always 
uncomplaining, he exhibited a patience that was saintly and 
beautiful as his days of weariness and pain wore by. "God has 
been good to me all my life," he said; "I must now take my 
bitter with my sweet." 

William P. McCorkU. 


f N. C, was bom at the old Mebane homestead, 
) Orange County, on September 12, 1868. He 
a descendant of Alexander Mebane, the 
I patriarch, through David Mebane, his youngest 
, then George Allen Mebane and Cornelius 
Mebane, and the complete history of the above-named ancestors 
appears in this volume under the sketch of Alexander Mebane, Sr. 
The father of the subject of this sketch, Cornelius Mebane, 
was a manufacturer, being engaged in the manufacture of cotton. 
He was distinguished for his energy and for a soundness of 
judgment that brought him gratifying success in his business 
career. Although richly endowed with fine intellectual capacity, 
and gifted with a remarkably bright mind, he never sought 
political preferment, but rather avoided pubhc life and devoted 
himself to his private affairs and found enjoyment in the 
amenities of social intercourse with his friends. He married 
Julia Paisley Sloan, who was a daughter of Hon. Robert M. 
Sloan, of Greensboro, N. C, and a granddaughter of Rev. Wil- 
liam D. Paisley, first pastor of the Greensboro Presbyterian 
church, and a man of great prominence in both religious and 
political affairs from 1794 to 1857, and whose career is 
closely identified with the history of that period in North 


Reared under the influence of his excellent mother, healthy 
and robust in his early years, Robert Sloan Mebane was well 
trained at home and the finer shades of moral and spiritual life 
were brought out in his character, while his intellectual faculties 
were being developed. He was fond of reading and had an 
ambition to acquire knowledge, and was attentive to his studies 
when at school, and there began to read meAcine; but when 
eighteen years of age began active life as a druggist at 
Greensboro, N. C. One year he then spent at Washington City 
as a druggist, studying all the while at a college of pharmacy 
and then graduated in pharmacy. He then obtained a position as 
a salesman in the wholesale drug business with the Winklemann- 
Brown Drug Co., of Baltimore, and for five years traveled for 
them throughout the southern states. After this he went into 
the dye and aniline business with A. Klipstein & Co., of New 
York, visiting all the cotton mills throughout the South and 
having the entire management of the southern business of this 
firm. His acquaintance with the mill trade led him in 1902 to 
seek an interest in that department of business activity, and he 
acquired an interest in the Carolina Cotton Mills and in the 
Alamance Cotton Mills at Graham, N. C, with his father-in-law, 
Mr. L. Banks Holt, and was at once elected secretary and treas- 
urer of each of these mills ; and from that time he has devoted 
himself exclusively to the cotton mill business. 

On October 25, 1899, Mr. Mebane was united in marriage to 
Miss Cora A. Holt, a daughter of L, Banks Holt, E2sq.; but 
after five years of happy married life, Mrs. Mebane was called 
away, leaving one son to comfort her bereaved husband. His 
marriage led him to closer relations with the honored father of 
Mrs. Mebane, and their intercourse strengthened the mutual 
esteem that subsisted between them. 

When on January i, 1906, Mr. Holt retired from the activi- 
ties of business, he vested the executive management of the 
Oneida and Bellemont Mills, representing more than a millioo 
of dollars invested capital, in the hands of Mr. Mebane, who 
is successfully carrying on the operations of those great prop- 


erties, in addition to the Alamance Ostton Mills and the Carolina 
Cotton Mills. 

Although Mr, Mebane's life has been such a busy and active 
one, he has recognized his duty as a patriotic son of North Caro- 
lina to bear arms under the flag of his State; and in i88g he 
became a member of the Guilford Grays and was elected lieuten- 
ant of that company, which was then Company B, of the Third 
regiment of State Guards. 

In his religious associations, Mr. Mebane has adhered to the 
faith of his fathers, and is afHliated with the Presbyterian church 
as a deacon. In political matters he has always been a Demo- 
crat, and while never seeking party honors or preferment, he has 
taken a zealous interest in all movements that tended to the 
progress of the State and the advantage of his community. 

His reading has been general, but unusually thorough, embrac- 
ing the best books by the best authors ; yet he has been more par- 
ticularly interested in science and biography, and has applied 
himself to the study of such works as have a bearing upon his 
business life. Indeed, from boyhood he has cherished an ambi- 
tion to excel, and he has sought to achieve success in life and to 
maintain the high standing of citizenship which came to him as 
an inheritance from his parents. 

There have been various influences that strengthened him in 
these purposes, but the sweet companionship and confidence and 
influence of his noble Christian mother in his younger days was 
the most potent factor in molding his character aright, and her 
love and never-wavering faith in him have been his abiding com- 
fort and greatest incentive to the achievement of nobler things. 
He realizes the advantages that accrued from early association 
with right-thinking people, and he also attributes much to his 
own private study, observation and reflection, while he recognizes 
the benefits he has received from contact with able and honorable 
men in business life. Particularly he places a high estimate on 
the value of the influence which has been exerted upon him by 
his association with Mr. Holt. Not only has this intercourse 
fostered fine business training, but it has strengthened those high 


ideals of life which are naturally inherent in Mr. Mebane's char- 
acter and are such a distinguishing feature in the career of Mr. 
L. Banks Holt. 

While Mr. Mebane has achieved gratifying success in the af- 
fairs he has undertaken, and has won a fine reputation as a 
cotton manufacturer and manager, he has at times encountered 
obstacles that require the exercise of care, prudence and per- 
sistent perseverance to overcome. He has found that there is no 
easy road to successful achievement, and that things worth striv- 
ing for can only be accomplished by strenuous exertion ; yet it is 
gratifying to note that according to his observation, perseverance 
united with capacity will generally be rewarded with success if 
the object sought is a worthy one and should be attained. 

As evidence of the reward that usually attends "perseverance, 
united with capacity/' it is well to mention that Mr. Mebane has 
been made general manager of Oneida and Bellemont Cotton 
Mills, secretary and treasurer of Carolina and Alamance Cotton 
Mills, in both of which he is part owner as well. * 

He is president and a director in the Bank of Alamance and 
stockholder and director in several other banks and insurance 

In looking after the many interests that demand his attention, 
it may be well imagined that his life is one of energy and 

During his years of traveling throughout the Union, Mr. Me- 
bane became well acquainted with the leading features and pre- 
dominating characteristics of American life, and he would 
recommend as the basis for the formation of character, honesty, 
energy, and sobriety ; a true spirit of Christianity ; these he thinks, 
united with good health and hard, persistent work, directed to 
the attainment of some desirable purpose, will result in promoting 
true success in life and in improving the standard of human ex- 

5*. A. Ashe. 

'^"'"■'i USURY , 


while the name figures but small in the court records, either as de- 
fendants or prosecutors, showing honesty, integrity, and uprightness 
in the race. Christianity also seems to have been an attribute, as the 
name is often found in the church records." 

The most distinguished living member of the family in Great 
Britain is Judge Alfred Meserve, "Brabant," Trinity, Jersey, 
but probably the most distinguished member of the American 
branch of the family was Colonel Nathaniel Meserve, of New 
Hampshire, who died in 1758. In Samuel Adams Drake's "Tak- 
ing of Louisburg," one of the volumes of his "Decisive Events 
of American History," we learn that he bore a prominent part in 
the capture of Louisburg, one of the strongest fortresses of the 
world : 

"Every gun and every pound of provisions and ammunition had to 
be dragged* two miles through marshes and over rocks to the allotted 
stations. This transit being impractical for wheel-carriages, sledges 
were constructed by Lieutenant-Colonel Meserve, of the New Hamp- 
shire regiment, to which relays of men harnessed themselves in turn 
as they do in arctic journeys; and in this way the cannon, mortars, and 
stores were slowly dragged through the spong^y turf, where the mud 
was frequently knee deep, to the trenches before Louisburg. None 
but the rugged yeomen of New England, men inured to all sorts of 
out-of-door labor in woods and fields, could have successfully accom- 
plished such a Herculean task." 

It was this action of Colonel Meserve, together with the simul- 
taneous attack by sea, that reduced the fortress and made English 
supremacy of the American continent possible. 

Charles Francis Meserve's early life was passed in his native 
village. He tells us of it : 

"I was sent to school when five years of age and was fond of 
school, but perhaps no more so than the average child. I was es- 
pecially fond of roaming the fields and woods with my father 00 
holidays and other days when work was slack, in quest of wild berrid^ 
and on these trips my father frequently impressed npon me the Ion 
and wisdom of God in preparing the universe for His childTen." 

When fourteen years of age he b^^ to work in the shoe 

shop with his father. At times, during the autumn, winter, wad 


spring, when work in the shop was slack, he worked out of doors, 
helping to gather the crops, to cut wood in winter, and assisted 
in planting and haying in the spring and summer, and notwith- 
standing this work, he attended the day school forty weeks in the 
year. Mr. Charles Meserve, his father, was a man of rugged 
character and a hater of shams and pretences, of great purity 
and simplicity of life, ever a friend to the poor and oppressed, 
and his strong character exerted a powerful influence for good 
over the son, whose home life was the real foundation of his 
successful career. 

While the parents had received only a common school educa- 
tion, they sympathized with their son in his desire for more in- 
struction, but he is indebted more probably for the inspiration to 
obtain an education to his elder brother, Alonzo, who has been 
for many years the master of the Bowdoin School in Boston, and 
probably his choice of teaching as a profession imconsciously 
turned the attention of his younger brother to educational work. 

There had been, a few years before the birth of Charles Francis 
Meserve, a great educational awakening in Massachusetts through 
the splendid career of Horace Mann, and he came upon the 
ptaRe of acliiin when ihcrc was great enthusiasm for that subject, 
and a great interest on the part of the people in improving the 
public school system. The spirit of the times, with the wise 
example of his brother, doubtless gave to Charles Francis his 
earliest impulses. 

In the autumn of his nineteenth year, Mr. Meserve left home 
and began to teach school. He had at this time nearly completed 
the course of study in the high school, but in order to have this 
privilege, he had been obliged to work from early in the morning 
until school time, and from the close of school until nine o'clock 
at nif-lit. It was under such circumstances that he acquired the 
training sufficient to teach school. He taught two terms in the 
town of Avon, Mass., then in Rockland, Mass., giving up this 
school in 1872 to pursue his studies further. 

In pursuance of this end. in March, 1872, he entered the Oas- 
sical Institute at Waterville, Me., was graduated therefrom at 


the close of the school year, and in 1877 was graduated with the 
degree of A.B. from Colby University, now Colby College, in 
Waterville, Me. In 1880 the honorary degree of master of arts 
and some years later that of doctor of laws were conferred upon 
him by the same University. Since this time, while he has taken 
no post-graduate course of study, he has done special work in 
manual training and has availed himself of courses of lectures 
on professional subjects from time to time, fitting himself still 
further for his profession by thorough study of the classics, his- 
tory, general literature, pedagogy and ethnology. 

He accepted the principalship of the high school in Rockland, 
Mass., in 1877, which he resigned eight years later to take charge 
of the Oak Street School in Springfield, Mass.; and in 1889 he 
accepted the superintendency of Haskell Institute at Lawrence, 
Kan., at that time the largest United States Indian Industrial 
Training School in the West. 

He has from that time identified himself with the cause of the 
American Indian, has traveled quite extensively among them and 
has written and spoken upon his travels and observations. Per- 
haps the most important service rendered was in visiting the 
five civilized tribes of the Indian Territory, and investigating the 
work of the Dawes Commission for these tribes. There was 
considerable criticism of the Dawes Commission, and having 
looked into their work very carefully, Mr. Meservc subsequently 
made an extended and favorable report, which was generally 
circulated throughout the country. A few years afterward Sena- 
tor Dawes said that this investigation and subsequent report had 
made possible the future success of this commission. 

In 1894, at the earnest solicitation of General T. J. Morgan, 
secretary of the American Baptist Home Mission Society of 
New York City, Mr. Meserve resigned the superintendency of 
Haskell Institute to accept the presidency of Shaw University, 
Raleigh, N. C, and took up this new work without interim or 
vacation on March 17th of that year. 

Mr. Meserve was married on December 19, 1878, to Miss AUue 
Mary Whittier, of Bangor, Me., who died in Brookline, Mass., 


October 6, 1898, leaving one child, Alice Whittier Meserve. He 
was married a second time, May 10, 1900, to Miss Fanny J. 
Philbrick at Waterville, Me. In religion, Mr. Meserve is a 
Baptist and was licensed to preach by the First Baptist church, 
of Raleigh, but has never been ordained. In politics he lias affil- 
iated in national and state affairs with the Republican party, bnt 
in local matters he acts independently, voting alway? for the 
men who will represent best the interests of the people; especially 
does he desire to keep his educational work free from political 

The superintendency of Haskell Institute had been, 
to his incumbency, a political position, but he ac I 
on condition that it should be divested of poll 
like any other educational institution, regan of 
power. He put the institution upon an h 1 -^ 

basis some time before any position in lool 

was placed in the classified list. When T 

Roosevelt was chairman of the United States Ci' I 

mission he spent a day or two with Superint it A 
specting Haskell Institute, and expressed hi 
his management and the utter absence of political conside ions 
in the selection of co-workers. After serving two y rs on 
the board of trustees of the state School for the Deaf and Dumb 
and Blind at Raleigh, he resigned the office because he was un- 
willing for the governor of the State to dictate the selection of 
the employees of the institution. 

Mr. Mescr\'e has been for many years a participator in the 
annual Mohonk Indian Conferences, and is a member of the 
National Educational Association, as well as the American Acad- 
emy of Political and Social Science. He is also one of the small 
number that were instrumental in establishing the Capon Springs 
Conference at Capon Springs, W. Va., in 1898, which has grown 
to be an important organization, now known as the Conference 
on Education for the South. 

Besides other works, he has prepared a history of the towns of 
Ahington, Rockland, and Whitman, Mass., and has given fre- 


quent lectures upon the Indian and negro problems. Mr. Me- 
serve came to Raleigh to take a position of grave responsibility^ 
where any false move might have brought hostility to himself and 
opposition to his work, but he has shown himself equal in every 
way to the situation, and has won from all classes respect and 
confidence. The experience gained by him in the Indian school 
has rendered him efficient aid in teaching the negro, and he ap- 
plies himself with zeal and singleness of purpose to the uplifting 
of these people. Shaw University, under his management, has 
increased her industrial department and improved her entire 
curriculum, and her pupils are everywhere self-respecting and 

Mr. Meserve believes that the hard work and habits of regu- 
larity acquired in his New England home have been of inestimable 
value in enabling him to accomplish his aims in life, and that the 
future successful men in America will be those who, by hard 
experience and privation in youth, have developed a fiber of mind 
and vigor of intellect necessary to the winning of any great ob- 

o. inf. AshCm 


iSDWIN MIMS, one of the most useful citizens 
jf of North Carohna and the South, was bom at 
) Richmond, Little River County, Ark., on 
1 May 27, 1872. His father, Andrew Jackson 
I Mims, was a merchant of that place, known and 
i respected by his fellow-townsmen for his 
generosity, hospitality, and sterling integrity of character. His 
mother, Cornelia Williamson Mims, is a woman who, by her 
teaching as well as by her gentle Christian life, has exerted a 
deep influence upon the moral and spiritual development of her 
gifted son. In childhood, the boy Edwin showed great aptitude 
for his school work and an eager delight in literature. One of 
the noteworthy events of his boyhood days was a gift of money 
from his father for the purchase of books. In 1885, in his four- 
teenth year, young Mims was sent to the Webb School, Ten- 
nessee, where he soon proved himself to be the possessor of one 
of the finest minds in the school. Finishing his college prepara- 
tory course in 1888. in the fall of that year he entered Vanderbilt 
University. Here he made his mark in the department of Eng- 
lish, being especially influenced by the late Professor Baskervill. 
Besides being one of the leaders of his class in scholarship, he 
liid not fail to give attention to the development of the social 
'idc of his nature, being a prominent member of the Delta Kappa 
Fp^ilon fraternity. The Phi Beta Kappa society was not char- 


tered at Vanderbilt until several years after Mims' graduation, 
but the impression his scholarship had made in the University 
was shown by his prompt election to honorary membership in the 
society. He was graduated at Vanderbilt in 1892, and for two 
years thereafter remained at that institution as a graduate student 
and as assistant in English. In 1894 he was called to be pro- 
fessor of English literature in Trinity College, at Durham, N. C 
This chair he has held continuously to the present date, being 
on leave of absence, however, in 1896-1897 to study at Cornell 
University as fellow in English literature and assistant to Pro- 
fessor Hiram Corson. From Cornell he has received the degrcc^ 
of doctor of philosophy. Besides his collegiate work of instruc— 
tion, Dr. Mims served as president of the Southern Association^ 
of Colleges and Preparatory Schools in 1901-1902, as president 0^ 
the North Carolina Teachers' Assembly in 1902, and as a member^ 
of the Joint Hymn Book Commission of the northern and south — 
ern Methodist churches in 1904. In the spring of 1907, he wa^ 
one of the leading speakers before the conference for educatioi^ 
in the South at Pinehurst, N. C. 

On June 29, 1898, the young professor was united in marriage 
to Miss Clara Puryear, of Paducah, Ky., a lady who in character 
culture, and the advantages derived from collegiate training ancnf 
travel was well fitted to be his helpmeet. The happy union ha s 
been blessed with three children, a son, Edwin, Jr., a daughter-^ 
Catherine Puryear, and a second son, Thomas Puryear. 

These are the bare facts in a career which has thus far been 
eminently useful and which gives brilliant promise for the future. 
As a teacher Dr. Mims has a rare power of inspiring his students 
with enthusiasm for the great masters of English literature. 
From the fires of the teacher's enthusiasm over Shakespeare, 
Tennyson, Browning, Wordsworth, and Carlylc, many a spark 
has been kindled in the receptive minds of his students. They 
have gone out to be, in their turn, able and inspiring teachers. 
Dr. Mims has been able to impart to those who have worked 
under him the vital quality of the classics. Frequently lecturing 
throughout his State, he has brought the beauties and the truths 


of great literature to a far larger audience than that of the col- 
lege classroom. He has been much in demand as a speaker at 
college and school commencements, and has delivered summer 
courses of lectures at the Colorado Chautauqua at Boulder, Col., 
and at the Monteagle, Tenn., Assembly. And everywhere that 
he has taught and read and lectured, he has been a great influence 
for open-mindedness and moral vigor. In his students he has 
constantly sought to develop the open mind, the ability to see 
and properly value all sides of a question. No teacher could be 
more secure in the loyalty and respect of those who have been 
privileged to be under his instruction. 

In his political action as a citi 1, Dr. i 
be affiliated with the Democratic ] ty. t 

ready to urge and to take inc pend< 1, 

vinced that the occasion demanded ^ i 5 

seen in his inability to keep in t 1 : 

party committed itself to the vo / of the f : c< 
ver at the ratio of 16 to i. At : :h tii 
self forcibly and convincingly in ;ech t 

press in pointing out that the duty of the < to 

country is above that to party. His conscience has ah s co 
trolled his vote, and he has done his full share to stir the co 
sciences of his fellow-citizens when any moral issue has be( 
stake. He has represented the highest type of citzenship in t 
great work of combating any narrow sectionalism or pro^ 
ism of views among his fellow-citizens. He has always been a 
national southerner. Though offers have come to him to enter 
attractive work in other sections of the country, he has steadily 
preferred to devote his whole powers to his native South. 

In the work and counsels of the Methodist church and of his 
local congregation, Trinity Church, Durham, Dr. Mims has con- 
stantly been an important and energetic factor. The same fresh 
enthusiasm which has characterized his work with college classes 
he has carried into the work of the Sunday-school, instructing a 
large class in the great truths of the Scriptures in a way that has 
removed his classes far from the dull routine of unpreparedness 


sometimes found in this field. Frequently he has occupied the 
pulpit of his own and other churches, and always with great 
spiritual helpfulness to those who have gathered to hear the ser- 
mons of the lay preacher. In the larger work of the whole 
Methodist denomination of the country, his fine poetic taste was 
of the greatest value as a member of the commission which pre- 
pared the new hymnal which is now being used by the Metho- 
dist Church, North and South. 

Notwithstanding all of these activities and his full participation 
in the routine committee work of Trinity College and his im- 
portant part in the constructive work of building up coUq^te 
standards in the South, Dr. Mims has found time to make a really 
surprising contribution to current and to permanent literature. 
He has written articles for the Outlook, Nation, Dial, Atlantic 
Monthly, Methodist Review, Congregationalist, South Atlantic 
Quarterly, World's Work, Chicago Record-Herald, Charlotte 
Observer, Christian Advocate, and other journals. Since the 
founding of the South Atlantic Quarterly in January, 1902, he 
has contributed numerous articles and book reviews to it and has 
discharged editorial duties with signal ability since April, 1905. 
Dr. Mims wrote the chapter on Thomas Nelson Page in the vol- 
ume on "Southern Writers," issued by the Methodist Publishing 
House at Nashville, Tenn., in 1903. For the American Book 
Company he edited Carlyle's "Essay on Bums" in 1903. In 1904 
he edited a volume of selections from the writings of Henry van 
Dyke which was pu])lished by the Scribners. His most important 
work thus far published is a "Life of Sidney Lanier," in the 
American Men of Letters Series, published by Houghton, Mif- 
flin & Co., in November, 1905. 

The "Life of Sidney Lanier" is a work of permanent value 
which will always link its author's name with that of one of the 
two great Southern poets. Of its kind, it is certainly one of the 
best books ever written in the South, and, indeed, so competent 
a critic as Hamilton Wright Mabie has declared it to be one of 
the best biographies written in America. From the point of view 
of scholarship, it is painstaking, accurate, and discriminating. 


One feels that its pages present with thorough understanding and 
excellent judgment the carefully weighed results of diligent study. 
But beyond this, there pervades the book an inner sympathy and 
affection of the biographer for his hero which wins and holds the 
reader. By temperament and training and intellectual viewpoint, 
Dr. Mims was the man for this particular piece of work. And 
if Mims is fortunate in his subject, Lanier is fortunate in his 
biographer. This "Life" will serve the poet's name and fame by 
establishing upon a sure basis his claim to an important place in 
the literary and aesthetic life of the nation. Nor can one fail to 
feel the significance and value to the South of the chapters in 
which Dr. Mims gives his enlightening account of the forces 
which, in the last generation, have been spiritually rehabilitating 
and regenerating his native section. The biographer will himself 
exert no mean influence in that great and good work. He has 
given Lanier his fitting place as a musician, a literary critic and 
a poet, and, more than this, he has held up to the southern people 
this gallant and heroic figure as a type, embodying in person the 
qualities of mind and heart which make for their truest and 
broadest development. 

We read of Lanier as belonging in a large sense to the Nation, 
but in a peculiar sense to the South. He knew the South. "Its 
scenery was the background of his poetry." He was personally 
acquainted with many of its leading men. "He was heir to all 
the life of the past. His chivalry, his fine grace of manners, his 
generosity and his enthusiasm were all southern traits; and the 
work that he has left is in a peculiar sense the product of a 
genius influenced by that civilization." But Lanier **had qualities 
of mind and ideals of life which have been too rare in his native 
section.'* "There had been men and women who had loved mu- 
sic ; but Lanier was the first southerner to appreciate adequately 
its significance in the modern world, and to feel the inspiration 
of the most recent composers. There had been some fine things 
done in literature ; but he was the first to realize the transcendent 
dignity and worth of the poet and his work." 

Lanier, in the words of Dr. Mims, 


"was national rather than provincial, open-minded, not prejudiced, 
modern and not mediaeval. His characteristics are all in direct con- 
trast with those of the conservative southerner. There have been 
other southerners — ^far more than some men have thought — ^who have 
had this spirit, and have worked with heroism toward the accomplish- 
ment of enduring results. There have been none, however, who have 
wrought out in their lives and expressed in their writings higher 
ideals. He therefore makes his appeal to every man who is to-dajr 
working for the betterment of industrial, educational, and literary coo- 
ditions in the South. There will never be a time when such men will 
not look to him as a man of letters who, after the war, struck oat 
along lines which meant most in the intellectual awakening of this 
section. He was a pioneer worker in building up what he liked to 
speak of as the New South : 

"The South whose gaze is cast 
No more upon the past, 
But whose bright eyes the skies of promise sweep. 
Whose feet in paths of progress swiftly leap; 
And whose fresh thoughts, like cheerful rivers, run 
Through odorous ways to meet the morning sun." 

If the author of the "Life of Lanier" should do no mort^ he is 
to be credited with important and worthy service. Fortunately, 
he is a young man — but thirty-five years of age — in the full pos- 
session of maturing powers. The record of achievement in the 
past gives the brightest promise for his future. In North Caro- 
lina and in all the South he has a multitude of friends who wish 
for him many long years of health and strength in which his use- 
fulness may ever be increased. 

W. H. Glasstm. 



gRANCIS MARION PARKER, one of the most 
1 distinguished of North Carolina sol4iers 
' evolved during the war between the states, was 
bom in Nash County, where his parents were 
I spending the summer, on September 21, 1827, 
( Colonel Parker has a North Carolina descent 
extending far back into the colonial period, and his ancestors 
have in each generation been men of affairs and distinguished in 
the various walks of life. He is one of the many descendants 
of John Haywood, who settled in Edgecombe County and was 
surveyor for Lord Granville and treasurer of the northern coun- 
ties of the province. The Haywoods were active patriots during 
the Revolution, and the family has long been one of the most 
distinguished in the annals of the State. He is also a grandson 
of Captain Henry Irwin Toole, of the Second North Carolina 
Continental regiment and a great-grand-nephew of Colonel Henry 
Irwin, who was killed at the battle of Germantown. 

His father, Theophilus Parker, was a merchant and farmer of 
Edgecombe County, whose integrity and high character made 
him prominent in that community, while his gentleness and cul- 
ture and benevolence warmly attached a large circle of friends to 
him. He did not enter into politics, but devoted himself to his 
business affairs, and the only position of public nature that he 
held was president of the Bank of Tarboro, for which he was 


selected because of his recognized financial ability and superior 
merit. He married Miss Mary Toole, who became the mother 
of the subject of this sketch. 

Colonel Parker's early youth was passed in the village of Tar- 
boro, and being of a strong and robust constitution and full of 
energy, he indulged in hunting and other sports in which his 
companions engaged and developed both physically and intellec- 
tually under the care of his tender and affectionate parents. 
After a preliminary course in the local schools he was taught at 
the Love joy Academy at Raleigh and at Dr. Wilson's CaldweD 
Institute, and then became a student at the school established by 
Bishop Ives at Valle Crucis. He married on December 17, 1851, 
Miss Sallie T. Phillips, a daughter of Dr. Phillips, who was a 
prominent physician of Edgecombe County, and shortly after 
his marriage began life as a farmer on his own plantation in 
Halifax County and pursued that vocation, interrupted only by 
the war, until two years ago a slight stroke of paralysis incapac- 
itated him for active work. 

Because of his high character and sterling worth, he became 
one of the leading men in the county of Halifax, whose counsels 
were sought on all important occasions, and from time to time 
he served his fellow-citizens in various civil positions. He was 
closely associated with his kinsman. Governor Henry Toole 
Clark, of Edgecombe, and in association with him and through 
his strong friendship with Colonel Michael Hoke, who made the 
brilliant campaign against Governor Graham, he became deeply 
imbued with the principles of the Democratic party and has ever 
been an earnest adherent of that organization. 

With his patriotic traditions and family record and being a 
true southerner, when the occasion arose he was among the first 
to enlist as a soldier in the war for the South. When in April, 
t86i. President Lincoln called on North Carolina for her quota 
of troops to coerce the seceded states he immediately joined in 
raising a company known as "The Enfield Blues," of which he 
was elected second lieutenant. This company became Company 
I of the first North Carolina regiment organized, famous as the 


"Bethel regiment," and Lieutenant Parker received his baptism 
of blood at Bethel, being in command of his company on the 
right of Company H ; and during the progress of the battle he 
deployed it in the front of the works and well performed the duty 
assigned him. On August 31, 1861, the captain of the company. 
Captain Bell, having resigned, Lieutenant Parker was elected to 
succeed him, and upon the organization of the Thirtieth North 
Carolina regiment in the following October, Captain Parker was 
elected colonel of that regiment and his subsequent military career 
was in connection with that organization. 

After a few weeks the Thirtieth regiment occiipietl Camp 
Wyatt. near Fort Fisher, where it became well drilled and so ad- 
mirably disciplined that it was subsequently known as one of the 
most efficient regiments in the Confederate service. It entered 
on its career of glory at the battle of Seven Pines on May 31, 
1862 ; soon afterward it was assigned to a brigade coinmanded by 
Brigadier- General George B. Anderson, and it was actively en- 
gaged in the seven days' battle arotmd Richmond, from Mechan- 
icsville to Malvern Hill, the loss in this last battle having been 
particularly severe. In all of these engagements Colonel Parker 
bore himself with heroic courage and such coolness as to win the 
highest encomiums and to endear himself to his brave soldiers. 

At the battle of South Mountain the regiment again suffered 
severely, that being one of the most arduous stru^Ies of the 
war, D. H. Hill's small division, of which the Thirtieth was a 
part, keeping at bay the entire army of McClellan for twenty-four 
hours, when it was successfully withdrawn from its perilous posi- 
tion. The regiment particularly distinguished itself at the 
"Bloody Lane" on September 17th at Sharpsburg, the terrible 
slaughter in its immediate front attesting its stubborn courage. 
On that occasion the Thirtieth held the right of the brigade and 
was much exposed on the crest of the hill. Just to the right of 
the Dunkard church was a peach orchard lying between the 
church and the town of Sharpsburg. A half a mile in front of 
the orchard Anderson's brigade held the "Bloody Lane." Its 
position, thrust out in front, much resembled that of the "Bloody 


Angle" at Spottsylvania two years later. When the enemy were 
approaching to make their assault Colonel Parker cautioned his 
men to hold their fire until he should give the command and then 
to take deliberate and cool aim and to fire at the cartridge boxes, 
thus shooting neither too high nor too low. They obeyed his 
direction and gave a volley which brought down the enemy as 
grain falls before the reaper. But finally overwhelming numbers 
caused their retirement. It was there that General Anderson 
was wounded and Colonel Tew, the senior colonel, killed and 
Colonel Parker himself disabled by a minnie ball in the head. In 
speaking of the loss of Anderson's brigade on that occasion, the 
historian remarks : "Its loss was great, but the fame of its deeds 
that day will abide with North Carolina forevermore." 

The regiment performed good service at Fredericksburg; and 
also at Chancellorsville, being one of the twenty North Carolina 
regiments that accompanied Jackson in his famous flank move- 
ment across Hooker's front, striking Howard's corps in reverse; 
and it enjoyed the sight of their tumbling over their works, run- 
ning for dear life and repeating that ominous word, ''Shackson! 
Shackson !" 

On that occasion Colonel Parker gained particular distinction. 
He was directed by General Ramseur to support Pcgfram's bat- 
tery, which was then threatened, and to act on his own respon- 
sibility. After the danger to Pegram has passed, he led the 
Thirtieth in the direction of the heavy firing, and after proceeding 
a half a mile, he received the fire of the enemy from behind 
breastworks which he charged and captured. Continuing in the 
same direction he soon struck another force of the enemy which 
was attacking Ramseur's flank. These he drove from the field, 
taking many prisoners, and he relieved at a critical time Ram- 
seur's brigade, which had distinguished itself for its impetuous 
daring on that part of the field. In this advance Colonel Parker 
reached a point very near General Hooker's headquarters, and 
being so far in front of any other Confederate troops, General 
Stuart, who had succeeded Jackson in the command of Jackson's 
corps, opened two pieces of artillery on the Thirtieth and con- 


tinued to Bre upon it until one' of his staff officers came near 
enough to distinguish that it was a Confederate regiment they 
were assailing. In that great battle the Thirtieth suffered terribly 
in killed and wounded, but Colonel Parker, who was always in the 
thick of the fight, fortunately escaped without any serious wound. 

Accompanying L^e in the invasion of Pennsylvania, the Thir- 
tieth reached the highest point to the northward attained by any 
Confederate regiment and occupied the Federal barracks at Car- 
lisle. In moving southward to the field of Gettysburg it consti- 
tuted the rear guard of Rodes' division train which tlirew it on 
that field in the afternoon of the first day, and its position was on 
the left of Rodes' line. Colonel Parker found the enemy en- 
trenched behind stone walls, from which they were driven into 
and beyond the town of Gettysburg, the fighting being of a des- 
perate character and the losses very heavy. On that occasion 
Colonel Parker himself was wounded ; he, however, shared in all 
the arduous service of the regiment during that winter and led it 
in its movements in the battles of the Wilderness and Spottsyl- 
vania. The charge of Ramseur's brigade on May 12th at Spott- 
sylvania is historic, and the losses of the Thirtieth on that occa- 
sion were heavy both in officers and men ; and the regiment also 
suffered heavily on May 19th at Spottsylvania, and there Colonel 
Parker received a wound which disqualified him for active ser- 
vice. He was then put in command of the post at Raleigh, where 
he stayed until the war was over. 

In Genera] Cox's account of the brigade, he says : 

teous and refined colonel of the regiment, 
Kcellent officer, and ever observant of his 
I his command. He was severely wounded 
engagement in which he participated, which 
t to the regret of all, he was compelled to 

Since the war, altiiough his health was greatly impaired by his 
wounds. Colonel Parker continued his farming operations, and 
surrounded by a loving family, he has enjoyed a home life of 
affection, which is the greatest blessing vouchsafed to man, and he 

"F. M. Parke 

r, the coui 

was a brave, cool, and e 

duties to the ca 

luse and t( 

in nearly every 


■0 impaired his 

health ihf 

resign from act 

ive service 


has also enjoyed the respect and homage that are ever accorded 
to the brave and virtuous actors in times of peril. His asso- 
ciates in arms have hailed him as a hero and have honored him 
by choosing him as a brigadier-general of the North CaroUna 
division of the United Veterans of the Confederate States. 

Colonel Parker has been one of those who lived much in the 
love of their friends. The chief characteristics that have dis- 
tinguished him all through life are unselfishness, gentleness, and 
modesty, combined with a genial spirit and unwavering friend- 
ship for those closely associated with him. Another one of his 
characteristics has been the vim and energy which he has dis- 
played in every employment which he has undertaken. In the 
military service this led to his pressing his command forward with 
eagerness into positions on the battlefield that were sometimes 
full of peril ; but he had the power of inspiring his men to greater 
and greater efforts as the danger of their situation demanded, and 
they always rose equal to the occasion and never failed him. He 
was regarded by them with unusual confidence and affection, and 
they followed implicitly where he led. In times of peace this 
same energy of action gave him prominence and resulted in his 
being thrust forward, especially when any trouble or crisis arose; 
and it has also been observable in his ordinary farm work, where 
he combined activity with intelligence and reaped the reward io 
gratifying success ; and even in his sports, his strenuous, hardy, 
and energetic life displayed itself, and his chief recreation afidd 
was following his dogs in the exciting and exhilarating sport of 
the fox chase. But withal, his modesty and gentleness and anwi- 
bility have ever been marked features in his character and lift 

He has long been an humble and consistent member of the 
Protestant Episcopal Church and has also been connected wilb 
the order of the Masons. In his family he has been pardculailr 
blessed, and the circle of his nine children, whose affection and 
reverence have been so grateful to him, has never been brolcei 
by death. 

Since the preparation of this sketch General Parker has passed 
away. He died at his home at Enfield on the morning of Jan- 



uary i8, 1905. The custom has been for the i: I 

joum on January 19th, that being the birthday 01 ' J 

Information having been received of the death of tl 
guished Confederate veteran and citizen of the State, at t 
ing of the legislature on the morning of the 19th, 
delivered on his life and career and a resol 1 

for the legislature to adjourn in honor of his mem r, as 
because of its being General Lee's birthday. T 
regret in the different parts of the State were a 

when the news was received of his death, and he 
every community. He was buried at Tart ) in t c J 
which generations ago had been donated by of 
and his funeral was largely attended, t 
siderable number of his old comra 



T!'5 Ni:V/ YORK 


V x> • ■ • - w ■ - 


toward its weary close, and the shadows of defeat were resting 
upon the homes and spirits of southern men, and the subsequent 
years were full of trouble. But this adversity was the common 
fortune of the generation to which Dred Peacock belongs. Their 
childhood, the time when lasting impressions are made, was 
cast when gloom pervaded every household. That this genera- 
tion should have imbibed something of a spirit of pessimism is 
most natural. That any of them should have been able to break 
away from the despondency in which they were reared is a sure 
sign of their rare endowments and indisputable courage. 

In the South men of culture developed a literary taste, and this 
was especially true of the scholarly men of the medical profes- 
sion. It was so particularly with Dr. Peacock, and Dred found 
the standard works of literature in his father's library and he 
soon formed the habit of reading, being exceedingly fortunate 
in having at his hands books that were interesting as well as 
instructive. Early in life he became a lover of learning and a 
lover of those who could interpret the higher ideals of cultivated 

Wilson is one of those good towns that has always given con- 
siderable attention to education, so Dred Peacock had more than 
the average chance of the southern boy to secure the basis of a 
good training. It is also true that the men who taught the 
preparatory schools at that period took their tasks very seriously 
and made (he schoolhouse the place of work, and the harder the 
work, the more virtuous did these teachers think themselves. 
True, there was a shortage of material equipments in the schools 
of that period, but this lack was more than supplied in the per- 
sonality of the teachers. Those were good schools, in many 
vital respects superior to these of the present time of boasted 
excellence in matters of education. 

In the fall of 1883 the young student entered the freshman 
class at Trinity College, from which he was graduated in June, 
1887. He came to college with good preparation, correct habits 
of study, sound ideals and a Stable character. In the quiet col- 
lege community he found the opportunities most conducive to the 


development of his faculties. He gave himself to his task with 
genuine enthusiasm, unmixed with those smaller motives that so 
often vex and mar the life of a college student. His college 
record was one of those that become traditional and fix new ideals 
of student life. He took an unusually large proportion of 
college honors without setting for himself the task of getting 

On the day of his graduation, June g, 1887, ^^ ^^ married to 
Miss Ella Carr, the daughter of Professor O. W. Carr, once a 
member of the college faculty. This marriage was one of those 
exceptional ones where domestic affection and severe study have 
flourished in the same atmosphere. The wife has graced with 
sweetness and dignity the positions won by the husband, and has 
made for him a home in many respects ideal. 

For a year after his graduation, Dr. Peacock was principal of 
the Lexington Female Seminary. The success which attended 
him there was so marked that in the fall of 1888 he was called 
to the chair of Latin in the Greensboro Female College. For six 
years he held this position, and upon the death of the president, 
Dr. F. L. Reid, he was chosen the head of the college. His 
progress had been exceptionally rapid, having attained at the age 
of thirty years the presidency of one of the oldest and most in- 
fluential colleges for women in the southern states. 

It was natural that he should have become an educator. There 
were no financial straits that forced him into the schoolroom, nor 
was he making it a stepping-stone to another profession, nor, least 
of all, was he influenced by a lack of ability to succeed in business. 
He loved knowledge, and all of his nobler sympathies were with 
the school as a center of learning. He had the genius of the 
educator and was signally fltted for the work. Because of his 
merits, his alma mater conferred upon him the honorary degree 
of doctor of literature, also giving him membership upon its board 
of trustees. 

Honesty was the ruling aim of his policy as the president of 
the Greensboro Female College. Education, and especially the 
education of young women, has been too greatly hindered by un- 


due claims and outward pretences. Very large academic dis- 
tinctions have been granted upon exceedingly small academic 
acquirements. As president of this old college, Dr. Peacock de- 
clined to confer any of the usual academic degrees, simply grant- 
ing to his graduates diplomas of graduation. Yet it is very 
doubtful whether any other southern college for women as jeal- 
ously watched after the sound training of its students. 

For eight years Dr. Peacock was the president of Greensboro 
Female College, and throughout the entire time it was embar- 
rassed by a debt which required all the skill and good manage- 
ment possible on the part of its president and directors to keep 
it open and continue its useful mission to the church and State; 
and in 1902 he was forced on account of his failing health to re- 
sign his position and abandon his cherished hopes as an edu- 
cator — a work for which he had shown such exceptional qualifica- 
tions. This is an old story, one that reflects no credit upon the 
educational sentiments of the southern public. Southern colleges 
to this date have been the altar upon which an indifferent public 
has sacrificed too many noble and unselfish men who have broken 
down under the burdens of college tasks which the public might 
have relieved at any time; and in this case the Methodists of 
North Carolina should have come to the rescue while Dr. Peacock 
and his faithful few were standing at the helm spending and being 
spent in a cause which was so dear to the hearts of North Caro- 
lina women. Men who have had no experience can have no 
conception of the ceaseless and destructive worry of carrying a 
college already loaded down with debt. No man was ever more 
faithful to his task than was Dr. Peacock, and none ever more 
cheerfully gave to his task the entirety of his strength. 

But there is another side to the work which he did for education 
in North Carolina that deserves public gratitude. For fourteen 
years he gave his vacations to building among the people a better 
educational sentiment. There are very few, if any, counties in 
the State in which his voice, invested with a charm and potency 
for educational advancement, did not ring out clearly on the sub- 
ject of the diffusion of education among the masses of the people. 


In this connection it is to be observed that Dr. Peacock has 
conferred a particular benefit. Himself a lover of books and of 
literature, he formed the design of collecting a library. Without 
money for the purpose, save $i,ooo as a nucleus given by Dr. 
and Mrs. Peacock in memory of their deceased baby daughter, he 
was so successful that in seven years' time he had secured over 
7,000 volumes, at a cost of $15,000. This library was open to 
the students of the college, and later when it seemed that the col- 
lege would disappear because of overwhelming financiat difficul- 
ties, he made a gift of it to Trinity as the Ethel Carr Peacock 
Memorial Collection. This was in accordance with a resolution 
passed by the board of directors at the beginning of its formatioa 
that should the college ever be closed or cease to exist, the library 
should then be given to Trinity College. In it were to be found 
most of the histories of the State published up to that time, and 
indeed, it was one of the best reference libraries of its size in the 
South. The books were all by standard authors, and the selec- 
tions were excellent. 

There is a traditional notion that one who teaches well is not 
adapted to practical matters. Much is heard of the academic 
world as distinguished from the world that is doing things. Dr. 
Peacock, however, inherited business talent as well as intellect; 
and when he turned with regret from the school, he walked into 
the world of business and asserted himself with a calm mastery. 
In a few weeks he began a very successful business and assumed 
a high place among the active business men of the State, and year 
by year he entered new fields of industry, developing in each the 
power of a master and adding to his reputation as a man of ca- 
pacity and enterprise. He became vice-president of the Globe 
Home Furniture Company, the largest concern of that kind in 
the South, and treasurer of the High Point Art Glass Company, 
which has been a great success ; he is also a director of the High 
Point Savings and Trust Company, a financial institution that 
has contributed much to that marvellous growth which has made 
High Point famous in its industrial work; he is a director of the 
Southern Car Company, the only business of that character in 


the South, and a director of the Home Savings Bank, of 
Greensboro, N. C. But his industrial work and business career 
has not separated him entirely from those matters which had 
earlier engaged him. He is a trustee overlooking tlie affairs of 
the Oxford Orphan Asylum, and is also an active trustee of 
Trinity College. 

Dr. Peacock is tall and carries himself with modest dignity. 
His forehead is high and broad, his brow is strong, his chin is 
square and indicates large will power, white his eyes are clear, 
penetrating, and expressive. He has a magnetism that draws 
men to him, while his obvious sincerity makes it easy for them 
to trust him. He is free from every form of deception, and looks 
at every issue without regard to prejudices and popular beliefs. 
Few men combine in their characters such notable conservatism 
with such marked individuality. His social qualities are excep- 
tional. Having his mind well stored with a wide variety of in- 
formation, being endowed with large sympathies, commanding 
an easy style, and being able to readily interpret a situation, he 
is one of the most pleasant and profitable companions one can 
find. Among his striking qualities of mind is a unique power 
of genuine wit. He never makes it serve a bitter purpose, but 
controls it with a becoming regard for the feelings of all. He has 
a spirit that marks him as one of the rare men one meets and fits 
him for the highest good in a community. Although a deep stu- 
dent of men and affairs, he finds his greatest pleasure in the midst 
of his large library, which contains nearly four thousand volumes, 
of which about one thousand are on Napoleon I and the French 

He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 
and has held for many years official positions in the congregations 
with which he worshiped. He is now in his forty-fourth year 
with the resources of mind and character that promise much to 
the welfare of his State. North Carolina has no more patriotic 
and faithful citizen than Dr. Dred Peacock. 

John C. Kiigo. 

PUiJL-j l;.:;;,;;y 

t ■ - I- 


I _ ._ 

were bachelors, men of strong minds and strong wills, popular, 
progressive citizens. The elder brother, Robert, was trained for 
a merchant in the store of his uncle, John Caldwell, father of 
the governor of that name, but obtained a fairly good classical 
education under the tutelage of the Rev. John Silliman, pastor 
of the Presbyterian church in Morganton. The death of an 
uncle, Robert Caldwell (for whom he was named), in Petersburg, 
Va., about the time when his vocation in life was to be fixed, left 
the family of the Caldwells and connections quite wealthy for 
that era; and with the portion allotted our subject he purchased 
an interest in the firm where he was a clerk, and for years 
steadily pursued the fixed purpose of acquiring wealth in land, 
slaves, and bank stock. 

His capacity as a business man was generally recognized in the 
piedmont section and attracted the favorable notice of Hon. Dun- 
can Cameron, through whose influence he continued for years 
president of the western branch of the Old State Bank. 

In compliment to this early friend he named his third son Dun- 
can Cameron Pearson, at present postmaster at Morganton, an 
office which Jackson gave the father in 1829, just on his arriving 
at man's age. 

This appointment, which he held for years, and the appoint- 
ment of United States pension agent for the soldiers of the Revo- 
lution and the war of 181 2 were the only places of a political 
character filled by Esquire Pearson, as from his justice's char- 
acter he was familiarly known. He was named with O. G. 
Parsley, of Wilmington, on the commission to raise the first ten 
million Confederate loan and embarked a large part of his own 
and some trust funds of his kindred in that venture, to the sure 
loss of his estate not alone directly, but as an insurer for others. 
When the movement to stay the frightful emigration from the 
State by chartering the North Carolina Central and other rail- 
ways took hold of the public mind, R. C. Pearson was one of the 
band of progressive spirits who urged on that movement with 
all his force. Colonel Charles Fisher, of Confederate memory, 
might be called the leader in the western corps, which included 


Hon. W. W. Avery and W. F. McKesson, Esq., of Burke, tiie 
Simonton brothers, of Iredell, N. W. Woodfin, of Buncombe, and 
others not now occurring to the writer. 

At the first meeting of the stockholders of the Western North 
Carolina Railroad in 1855 ^^ ^^^ chosen with practical unanimity 
president of the infant corporation, and till the beginning of the 
second term of Governor Ellis, he continued in charge of its 
construction when the civil war suspended work. The road was 
at that time finished and finely equipped to a point a few miks 
below Morganton, while some work had been done on the French 
Broad line. The construction work was by contract, G>loiid 
Fisher being the leading contractor, and payment of two-thirds 
was made by the sale of state bonds voted for that purpose and 
one-third in the stock of the company. 

In this era of rapid railway construction, with its entire free- 
dom from state or political control, it is difficult to estimate the 
strain endured by the earlier race of railway officials, whose 
appropriations came from the legislature upon condition that the 
favored section was influenced to subscribe one-third the total 
cost in stock. Contracts were to be apportioned, politidans 
soothed, neighborhood rivalries as to the location of the line ad- 
justed, the torpor of chronic conservatism overcome and the 
sneers of cynics passed over — ^these and obstacles like these were 
for five long years Mr. Pearson's portion as president of this 
enterprise. How well he met them the surviving men of Us 
generation have often attested. Judge Avery, writing in Smith's 
'* Western North Carolina," thus refers to him: 

"Burke County has produced few men of as broad views as R. C 
Pearson. If the war had been postponed for ten years he would have 
finished the road (the W. N. C. R. R.) to Ducktown at the smallest 
possible cost and built up for himself the largest estate in this sectioa. 
His ready comprehension of all kinds of business and his obliginc 
disposition made him the adviser of more people of all classes thaa 
any citizen of the county." 

To the same effect Wheeler speaks of him in his **Reiiiiiiis- 


In politics our subject was a Jackson not a Calhoun Democrat, 
u)d was a most active partisan, though never in his life a candi- 
date for any popular honor. He favored Douglas for the presi- 
dency in i860, and both at Charleston and Baltimore used his 
admitted influence to keep our state delegation from swinging into 
the company of the extremists. When civil war came, as the 
result of the purposely created schism in the only national party, 
he of course stood with those who had ignored his own coun- 
sel and the dictates of common sense, because they were of his 
blood and country, and the path of duty was plainly with them. 

No man in this section of the State rendered a more constant, 
uncomplaining service of loyalty to the Confederacy than Mr. 
Pearson. He kept open house for soldiers' families. In the last 
cruel days of poverty and defeat he made free use of liis credit 
to relieve suffering at home, and even drew drafts on northern 
bouses, who knew his reliability, which were sent our prisoners 
at Lookout and Johnson's Island and which in no case were dis- 
honored. Several thousands were disbursed in this way in small 
sums and later made good. 

Yet he was never hopeful of victory for the cause, for he knew 
the North and its resources as few in this section knew it. But 
as his friend, Governor Vance, often put it, he recalled that our 
Revolutionary forefathers had been even worse off than the Con- 
federates were in their last days and yet had won, and so he never 
lost heart till the end came. With that end he lost courage and 
refused to begin the battle of life anew, verging as he was on 
three score years. One incident connected with Mr. Pearson's 
life during the civil war deserves more than passing notice. 
When Colonel George W, Kirk, of the Second Tennessee regi- 
ment. U. S. A., organized a secret raid upon Camp Vance, near 
Morganton, and succeeded in completely surprising that post with 
several hundred Confederate prisoners, he sent forward a scout- 
ing party of a dozen or more men in the direction of the town, 
three miles distant from the camp. 

Great was the surprise and excitement of the townspeople when 
they woke up one bright morning in June, 1864, to hear the news 


of this occurrence on the previous night. Preparation was at 
once made to defend the town against the raiders by the old 
men and boys, who at that time made up its male population. The 
Hon. W. W. Avery, destined within a few days thereafter to 
meet his untimely death at the hands of these same raiders, took 
the command of about fifty old men and boys hastily gathered and 
thrown into a line at the edge of town and on the road leading 
to Camp Vance. 

Mr. Hamilton Erwin, familiarly known as "Uncle Hamp,** 
and Esquire Pearson were sent out as an advance guard to feel 
the enemy and report his movement. When in sight of the ford 
of Hunting Creek, about half way between camp and town, these 
old gentlemen discovered the squad of raiders, above referred to, 
engaged in watering their stock in the stream. The apparent 
leader getting sight of them, rode from the stream and when in 
the act of levelling his Winchester, was shot dead by Mr. Pear- 
son's trusty double-barrel shotgun, carrying fourteen buckshot 

The stolen mule he was riding was killed by the same charge; 
upon seeing which the rest of the party precipitately returned to 
Camp Vance, and no further advance toward the town was made, 
but on the contrary. Kirk gathered up his prisoners and set oat 
on his retreat. 

It was believed then, and is perhaps true, that this lucky shot 
saved the town from pillage and capture. Nearly a year later, 
when Stoneman visited it, some of the Kirk command were 
along and repaid the disappointment of June, 1864, by stealing 
whatever they could lay hands on. 

Among Kirk's prisoners at Camp Vance was a son of Mr. 
Pearson, Lieutenant James T. Pearson, of Company B, Forty- 
sixth regiment. North Carolina troops, who escaped, however, 00 
the night of the first day's march and returned to service, dying 
in Salisbury of fever when Stoneman took that town April, i86> 
Another son, Dr. R. C. Pearson, of the Fifty-eighth North Caro- 
lina regiment, was at that time home on a furlough and went with 
Avery in pursuit of Kirk. A premature attack upon his force by 
the Confederates near Piedmont Springs resulted in repulse and 


the death of an old citizen, A. P. Chandler, and the maiming for 
life, by a shot in the knee, of Dr. Pearson. 

When peace came, with its complete overturning of southern 
labor and the social system, Mr. Pearson could not adapt himself 
•to it ; nor did he try. His heart was in the coffin of the Old South 
and he would not pause to have it come back to him. ''I am tired 
of this concern," he said on his deathbed, the day the negroes were 
registering to vote for the convention of 1868 provided for in the 
reconstruction acts. 

He was eminently a truthful man and filled the bill of Carlyle 
in standing at all times for realities and in opposition to shams of 
all sorts. Like Governor Bragg, whom he warmly esteemed and 
received the like in return, the grave was a deep, dark mystery to 
him, which he could not fathom, and about which he would not 
pretend to a knowledge which he did not possess. A sense of 
duty was ever present to him, professions, save of friendship, he 
did not make ; and he left his life work here to speak for his here- 
after. He thought deeply that he could prove a good character 
in the upper courts and he never claimed to be even sure of this. 

He was exceptionally kind as a master, never selling a slave 
and purchasing at sad loss to himself those who were intermarried 
with his own slaves and threatened with sale to the traders. To 
this day his name is spoken of among all the elder negroes of the 
county with peculiar reverence and affection. 

Mr. Pearson was far in advance of the ideas of his own time. 
He was the first man to bring a threshing machine to Burke to 
supplant the flail ; he was the earliest user of Peruvian guano, the 
one commercial fertilizer of his time; he owned the first sewing 
machine in the county, and to him was due the introduction of 
several superior species of seed wheat. In all such things he took 
great delight for the good they did others. 

Whatever success in life this man secured and what of good he 
did that survives was owing as much to the remarkable woman 
who became his wife as to any exertion or good fortune of his 

Jane Sophronia Tate, daughter of David Tate, Sr., and Ann E. 


McCall, became Mrs. Pearson in March, 1834. Her father was 
a prominent Federalist politician in this section of the State, re- 
peatedly a representative in both branches of our Assembly in the 
early years of the last century, and a man of striking originality, 
if tradition is to be believed. Her mother died before the daugh- 
ter had passed from girlhood, and yet the girl took the mother's 
place in the household economy, reared two younger brothers, su- 
perintended her father's hotel in Morganton, was mistress of sev- 
eral slave families and attracted the favorable notice of the leading 
men of the county for striking administrative ability. 

A devout Presbyterian of the John Knox pattern, she went to 
the Bible for all her wisdom, and one of her unbroken rules was 
to go through that holy book from Genesis to Revelation, chapter 
by chapter, with her children and some of the servants, each re- 
curring year of her life — so many chapters every morning and ten 
on the Sabbath was the rule. 

Mr. Pearson died in November, 1867, at his home in Mor- 
ganton. His wife survived him ten years. Of the children. Dr. 
Pearson married Miss Delia Emma Gaither, daughter of Colonel 
B. S. Gaither, of Morganton ; D. Cameron married Miss Claudia 
Holt, daughter of Dr. W. R. Holt, of Lexington ; Jennie married 
Colonel Samuel McD. Tate; Laura was united with Captain 
Neill W. Ray, a prominent lawyer of Fayetteville, N. C. ; William 
S. to Miss Bettie Venable Michaux, daughter of Richard V. 
Michaux, of John's River, in Burke ; John, the youngest child, to 
Miss Florence Walton, daughter of Colonel T. George Walton, 
of Creekside, Burke County. Two children, Ann E. and James 
T., died unmarried. 

Mrs. Tate and Dr. Pearson are also deceased. In person 
Robert C. Pearson was a striking figure and commanded notice 
in any assembly of people. He stood six feet two and one-half in 
his boots and was of weight corresponding to his stature. His 
head was large and noble, his manner cordial and of Irish bland- 
ness. He was a superb traveling companion and was by instinct 

C. F. McKesson. 

T i; r^iiWYOw 


was with the rebels in 1798 and fled from Ireland on that ac* 
count. This sketch would be incomplete if it failed to record the 
fine character and high intelligence of the mother of Q)loiid 
Pearson. A lover of good books, a strong Presbyterian, conse- 
crated to good works, she was a wonderful helpmeet to her big- 
hearted and big-brained husband, who often consulted her as to 
some business venture. 

Colonel Pearson inherited the strongest points of both his par- 
ents. His first school-teacher was James R. McCauley, at Mor- 
ganton. From there he went to Melville, in Alamance County, 
where he was prepared for college by Dr. Alexander Wilson, one 
of the prominent educators of the past. At the age of thirteen 
years he entered Davidson College, where he spent a year, and 
then went to the University of North Carolina, where he grad- 
uated with honors in 1868. His graduating speech created i 
state sensation, not only on account of its rich, resonant sentences, 
but because of the force and boldness with which it espoused the 
principles of the Republican party. On account of that speech he 
was in the same year made a Grant elector and messenger of the 
vote. The late Colonel George N. Folk, himself one of the great 
lawyers of the State, said of that speech, **Though written by i 
boy, it shows a brilliant mind and a wonderful knowledge of 
political history." Since 1880 he has been a lawyer; in 1874 and 
1875 he was editor of the Asheville Pioneer; from 1897 to 1901, 
editor of the Farmers* Friend and Morganton Herald, and from 
i8t)3 to 1898 was state attorney for the Eastern BuQding and 
Loan Association, of Syracuse, N. Y. In 1875 to 1877 he was 
aide to Governor Brogden and commissioner of the Wcsten 
North Carolina Railroad. In 1876, during this service as connnis* 
sionerof the State for the Western North Carolina Railroad, Colond 
Pearson aided largely in several measures important to the people 
of his section, among them the first working of convicts upon the 
mountain section of the road, the establishment of a tdegraph 
line, the placing of the town of Newton upon the main line, giviflf 
Statesville a competitive rate and inaugurating a system of dbc^) 
excursions then new to that section. He was one of the commit* 


sioners of the State Hospital at Morganton, 1877-82, and from 
1883 to 1885 a computer in the supervising architect's othce, 
Washington, D. C. From 1898 to 1904, referee in bankruptcy; 
in 1900, a Bryan elector, and in 1904 was elected to the state sen- 
ate from the thirty-fourth district. He was the acknowledged 
leader of his party in that legislature and pursued a conservative 
course throughout. 

In 1 88 1 Colonel Pearson published a political novel, "Monon 
Ou; or, Well Nigh Reconstructed," E. J. Hale & Son, of New 
York, being the publishers. He has on hand an unpublished 
story entitled "My Uncle John," dealing with life in the old 
South. This is a story of decided merit. It is rich in 
thought, bold in imagery, full of striking incidents, and describes 
scenes, customs and manners in an age that is rapidly pass- 
ing away with the skill of an artist and the eloquence of a 

Colonel Pearson was a Chi Phi at Chapel Hill, is a Master 
Mason, a member of the Junior O. U. A. M., a Republican in 
politics, who went to the Democrats on the silver question, and 
canvassed as a Bryan elector in 1900. He is a member of Grace 
Episcopal Church at Morganton and has served on its vestry. 
He has ever been a great reader, especially of English history, 
Shakespeare, Macaulay, and Carlyle's "Essays" being favorites. 
He is fond of out-of-door exercises and reads light literature for 
relaxation. He feels that old Governor Swain largely aroused 
his ambitions, and that the works of Macaulay largely strength- 
ened them. 

Colonel Pearson has long been regarded as one of the ablest 
and most entertaining writers in the State. Strong, pure, classic, 
and forceful in his English, in his editorial work, many of his 
friends think him even more excellent when dealing with some 
great event in history or the life of some great personage, as, for 
instance, his sketch of Jefferson Davis, which is here appended, 
taken from the Morganton Herald: 

"The meeting of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Rich- 
mond recently, with the ceremonies attendant upon the dedication 


of the several memorials to members of Jefferson Davis' family, hat 
occasioned a certain renewal of interest in the great chieftain himself, 
and comment is noticeably kinder in the North than heretofore. Few 
men have lived in the century now closing who, in the acknowledged 
elements which constitute in the Saxon understanding greatness, hire 
surpassed Jefferson Davis. He was, to begin with, a born soldier, 
and when asked late in life by his daughter, Winnie, to express the 
summum bonum of his ambition replied, *To break squares with 
cavalry/ He won Buena Vista by adopting Hannibal's renowned qk 
of the wedge, or V-shaped movement A scholar of universal range, 
acquired no one seemed to know how or when in a life of unvarying 
action, an orator of no mean parts, as was often testified by the most 
diverse audiences, he survived all of his contemporaries to write like 
Caesar a classic of his own great doings. The first aoo pages of his 
'History' is an example of close-knit logic, the equal of which it will 
be hard to find in any literature. Not Jefferson himself has so welded 
the links in vindicating the supremacy of the states, not alone as con- 
stitutionally warranted, but as needful to the charter's existence. He 
had the isolation of many great men, of Caesar, Wellington, and Wash- 
ington; but was a kindred spirit with Sidney Johnston, Lucius Lamar, 
and Dick Taylor; while for men like Bedford Forrest, Pat. Qebnme, 
and John B. Hood he had the pride of a preceptor. He bowed to no 
man, but for Robert Lee and Bishop Folk he felt a respect almost 
equaling reverence. He wrote a half a column one day on Ben Bntler 
and made his infamy immortal. If he did not hate Joe Johnston, only 
his Christianity prevented; certainly there is an underlying thread 
through all his book inducing one to believe that on Johnston's head 
was to fall the cardinal errors of the Confederacy, preventing success. 
They did not fall, the reproach is not uttered and yet one feels that 
it is withheld for pride's sake — pride in withholding from outsiden 
family troubles. He endured vicissitudes rare in these later days of 
gentle manners and public prints. 

"Martyrdom was imposed upon him, trial denied him» torture tried 
upon old and feeble limbs, all the hired pens employed to defame, hit 
very courage, which shone like a fixed star, lied about and weakucsi 
imputed to a nerve, which the Nemean lion could not have faced widh 
out slinking. 

"Having carried through an eventful travail the weight of an em- 
pire, destined to death in birth, he held aloof from common compsfl- 
ionship in his later years and personified the dignity, self-respect* sad 
civil obedience of a thwarted, proud people pledged to peace and sa 
abandonment of their undertaking by the thin thread of a promise^ 
behind which, however, was honor. It will be an ill day for decency 


L decency in particular, when his name is 

Of this article written for a country newspaper, the Charlotte 
Observer, no mean critic, said : 

"The tribute to Jefferson Davis, reproduced in to-day 'a Obttntr, 
from the Morganlon Htrald, is one of the most elegant and compre- 
hensive, and yet concise sketches of 3 character and a career that we 
have ever read. It is from the ever-ahle pen of Colonel W. S. Pear- 
son. It shows a grasp of history, and a hreadth of erudition that 
chroniclers like John Richard Green or George Bancroft might have 
envied, and a wealth and beauty of expression thai Henry Watierson 
may not surpass." 

Colonel Pearson is a man of decided thought and speech, his 
large reading and splendid memory have given him a wonderful 
vocabulary. Of great versatility of talent, he can entertain an 
audience of professors, or hold and convince a crowd of illiterates. 
Without apparent attempt at humor, he often convulses his au- 
ditors with its richest flavor. He seldom lets fly a sarcasm, and 
only then to show an antagonist that he knows the use of the 
steel. On the hustings or in the court room he is one of the fair- 
est of men, preferring to reach his fellows through persuasion and 
reason, rather than by an appeal to passion or prejudice. Well 
grounded in the law, he ignores its technicalities and builds on its 
broad and ruling principles. The Hon. R, Z. Linney, hearing 
him make various admissions in the trial of a case, wittily re- 
marked, "Pearson must be a patriot, for no clansman would make 
those admissions." His ambition is of that finer kind that is ever 
tempered by prudence and never stained by jealousy. As a con- 
versationalist he easily ranks with the best in the State, always 
instructive and entertaining. A 6rm friend, a gifted gentleman, 
full of charity for his fellows, conservative in his views, strong 
in his convictions and bold in defending them, there has been 
woven into the texture of his life a high sense of honor, a deep 
love of virtue, a fervent patriotism, and all his gifts and graces 
are worn with the modesty of a woman. Respected and beloved 
at his home, he is an honor to the State. 

Charles F. McKesson. 


IHE Person famUy represents one unit in that 

1 great English voellcerwanderung which he^a 

from the older American colonies almost before 

they were themselves out of swaddling clothes 

a and has gained more and more force as newer 

J settlements grew in strength until it has over^ 

run and conquered the American continent for the men of Ai^k>- 
Saxon blood. Virginia had been planted little more than a genera- 
tion when hardy pioneers pushed out from her settled centers and 
in the wilderness of Carolina carved out new homes for them- 
selves, redeeming them from the wilderness and the savage. 
These frontiersmen in their turn sent others to the new and fer- 
tile lands of the old Southwest and old Northwest, and these 
have again sent out conquering hosts to the shores of the calm 
Pacific and to the naked plains and sav;^ mountains of the arid 
mid-region. Thus it follows that the real F. F. V.'s are found as 
often in the far West, in the old Southwest or in Carolina as in 
Virginia herself. 

The Person family was one of those which thus left Virginia 
with that great migration that swept over her southern border 
for a hundred years after the first settling of North Carolina. 
It had been settled in Brunswick County, Va., and had for its 
neighbors the Mangums, who were soon to follow it to North 
Carolina. I find in the Quaker records of southeastern Virginia 


a John Persons, the son of John Persons (who spelled his name 
Passons), marrying Mary Patridg on the tenth of first month, 
1691/2. I have no records to prove my supposition, but it is pos- 
sible that these two Quakers, father and son, were the imme- 
diate ancestors of that Wilham Person who was the head of the 
family at the time of its coming into Halifax County, N. C, about 
1740. William Person (born 1700, died November ii, 1778) 
took up land in Halifax, but seems to have soon passed on into 
what is now Granville, for on its organization as a separate 
county, in 1746, he became its first sheriff, an office which he filled 
for a number of years. He was often a justice of the peace, a 
county commissioner, a vestryman, and in general a man of 

prominence and a leader in his county. He married Ann , 

and his son, Thomas Person, commonly known as General Per- 
son, and whose name in his own day was indifferently written 
and pronounced Person, Persons, Parson. Parsons, and Passons, 
was born January 19, 1733, probably in Brunswick County, Va. 
He grew up in Granville County, N. C, and there his life was 
spent. He began life as a surveyor for Lord Granville, was noted 
for the accuracy of his surveys and the faithfulness of his work 
generally, and as his work made him acquniiited with tlie best 
lands, he thus accumulated a handsome estate. In 1788 he listed 
for taxation 82,358 acres, lying in Halifax, Warren, F*-anklin, 
Orange, Caswell, Guilford, Rockingham, Anson, and Wake 
counties. N. C, and in Davidson, Sumner and Greene counties, 
Tenn. State Rec, Vol. XXVI, 1275). 

The first definite record of his appearance in public life is on 
July 6, 1756, when he was recommended as a justice of the peace 
for Granville (Col. Rec, Vol. V, 592). In 1762 he was sheriff 
of that county (ibid., VI, 895). His first appearance in the As- 
sembly was at the October session, 1764, as the representative of 
Granville, and he won even in this his first service sufficient recog- 
nition to give him a place on the committee to settle the public 
accounts {VI, 1222). He was not again in the Assembly so far 
as I have been able to learn until November session, 1768, 
and October session. 1769, when he again served on the Commit- 


tee on Public Accounts and on that of Privileges and Elecdoos; 
It was during this last session that his connection with the Kega- 
lators began to have its influence on his fortunes. 

The ''Regulation" was one of a series of efforts made by the 
people of North Carolina at various times to secure a redress of 
grievances. It began as early as 1759 with the Enfield riots, 
which were directed against the land officers of Lord Xiranville. 
A little later extortion began to grow up among the county oflt 
cers in various sections of the province. Because of the lavish 
expenditures of Tryon's government, provincial taxes were high, 
and, being levied on the poll, bore unduly on the poor and thinly 
settled communities of the middle section. In 1765 discontent 
became acute, and was manifest as far east as Pasquotank. It 
broke into violence in the present counties of Granville, Orange, 
Alamance, Guilford, Rockingham, Surry, Chatham, Randolph, 
Rowan, Davidson, Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and IredeU. 
The discontented element called themselves "Regulators." Under 
the leadership of Husband, Howell, Hunter, Butler and othen 
they published numerous addresses on the condition of affairs. 
The organization gained headway. Its purpose was to "r^;ulatc" 
the grievances of which they complained; these were excessive 
taxes, dishonest sheriffs and extortionate fees. Their agreement, 
or articles of association, show that their purpose was peacefnl 
in character and that they were willing to pay legal taxes and 
legal fees. They petitioned the government often for redress. 
This was often promised but never granted. This failure to it- 
ceive the redress asked no doubt irritated many and led them to 
commit indefensible acts of license and violence. A rupture was 
narrowly averted in 1768, and in September, 1770, occurred the 
riots in Hillsboro when Fanning, John Williams, Thomas Hart 
and others were beaten, property destroyed and the court insulted 
and broken up. 

In the Assembly of 1769 John Ashe, of New Hanover, had re- 
ported that Thomas Person, the member for Granville, was fre- 
quently charged with perjury (Col. Rec, VIII, 118). He was 
tried at December session, 1770, after the Hillsboro riots, for 


perjury and extorting illegal fees, and there came before the 
Assembly to prosecute that same Richard Henderson whose 
court had been insulted and broken up. The committee of in- 
vestigation, through John Campbell, its chairman, reported that 
"there is not any one of the charges or allegations ... in any 
manner supported," but that they were exhibited "through malice 
and envy, with design to injure the character and reputation of 
the said Thomas Person," and it was ordered that this report be 
published in the newspaper of theday (VIII,448,449,46i). Hen- 
derson, the prosecutor, was thereupon mulcted in the costs (VHI, 
467), which he failed to pay (IX, 717, 718). Tryon claimed that 
the resolution to put the costs on Henderson was clapped up by 
Person's friends ; at any rate, that resolution was repeated at the 
next session (IX, 196). 

In an anonymous letter printed in the Colonial Records (VIII, 
643 et seq.) it is said that Person was expelled from this session 
of Assembly; 

"After this the General Assembly of the province was called, and an 
election ensued, at which Herman Husband and Thomas Parsons were 
chosen by the country party as members of the house; their enemy, 
Fanning, was also chosen. When the house met their first step was to 
expel Husband and Parsons from their seats; Husband they sent to jail; 
Parsons, home. They then passed a Riot Act, the substance of which was 
that any person or persons being guilty of any riot, either before or after 
the publication of this act, within the jurisdiction of any court within this 
province, shall and may be indicted, and when so indicted shall appear and 
stand trial before the expiration of sixty days; and in case he, she, or they 
do not appear, noticed or not noticed, within the term aforesaid, they shall 
and are hereby declared to be outlawed, and shall suffer death without 
benefit of clergy, etc., and his lands, goods, and chattels confiscated and 
sold at the end of eight days." 

This letter was no doubt the work of Rednap Howell, one of 
the Regulation leaders, as it is from "a gentleman in North Caro- 
lina to his friend in New Jersey," and Howell came from that 
State to North Carolina. The statements made in other parts of 
the letter seem to be essentially correct, but I confess that I am 
unable to reconcile this expulsion of Person with the favorable 


report which was made in his behalf to this same Assembly, and 
with his appearance again as a member of the same Assembly at 
its session in November, 1771. 

But the Assembly of 1770-71 did pass a Riot Act which antici- 
pated some of the essential features of the "five intolerable acts" 
of the British Parliament of 1774. It was so brutal, so tyrannical 
and subversive of all liberty of the subject that it was condemned 
even by the English Government as "irreconcilable with the prin- 
ciples of the constitution, full of danger in its operation and unfit 
for any part of the British Empire." But in the meantime this 
act, more commonly known as the Johnston Act, from its author, 
was put into execution against the Regulators, and goaded them 
to further resistance. Tryon collected an army from the eastern 
counties, although in many sections the spirit of resistance was 
almost as pronounced as in the regulation country. On May 16, 
1771, with his army of iioo men, organized, trained and armed, 
Tryon came up with some 2000 Regulators at Alamance Creek, 
now in Alamance County. The Regulators were unorganized, 
without officers, untrained and in part unarmed. There was much 
parleying, the Regulators even to the last petitioning for redress. 
Tryon forced a battle, defeated the Regulators, took some pris- 
oners, and with more than Jeffreys' bloodthirstiness hanged 
James Few on the field. Six others were hanged a month later, 
after having received the form of a legal trial. 

Person's service to the Regulation was evidently in the coun- 
cil, not in the field, for he was not present at the Alamance bat- 
tle, and it does not clearly appear in what form his service was 
rendered beyond that he was a member of their committee to 
whom the people were to give in their claims for overcharges 
which the officers guilty of extortion, under the pressure of popu- 
lar indignation, had agreed to refund. The committee was to 
have met for this purpose on May 3, 1771, but it is probable that 
events were then moving too fast for peaceful methods (Cd. 
Rec, VIII, 521, 535; Caruthers' "Caldwell," 143). But it is 
certain that Tryon recognized Person as a leader in this move- 
ment and did him the immortal honor to include htm in the list 


of those excepted from the benefit of pardon. Tryon's excep- 
tions included the four leaders who had been outlawed, Husband, 
Howell, Hunter and Butler, the prisoners, the young men who 
blew up Waddeirs ammunition train, and sixteen others men^ 
tioned by name, of whom Person is the last (Col. Rec., VHI, 618). 

How Person escaped trial and further punishment for treason 
and how he secured his release do not clearly appear, although 
tradition says it was through the personal friendship between him 
and Edmund Fanning {ex rel, Peter M. Wilson). Tradition says 
also that by permission of his jailor Person made an all night 
ride to his home at Goshen to see or destroy certain incriminating 
papers there, and returned to jail before the break of day. It 
is said that Tryon's troops visited his home looking for plunder 
as well as papers, but found nothing, and this failure may have 
forced his release (Col. Rec, VHI, xxviii). 

It is usually said that the Regulators were Tories in the Revo- 
lution. It is certain that few of them were enthusiastic sup- 
porters of the Whig principles of 1776. But it is hardly reason- 
able to expect this much of them. They were mostly simple, 
honest, ignorant men who had grown restless under official op- 
pression; they had been defeated and forced to take an oath to 
the king by the very men who in 1776 sought to make them break 
the oath taken in 177 1. In that struggle the Regulators for the 
most part maintained a sullen neutrality. Unlike their sym- 
pathizers of that day, Caldwell and Person, they were unable to 
see that the principles of 1776 were but those of 1771 writ large; 
that official oppression was the same, whether exercised by petty 
despots at their doors or by high lords and Parliament over sea ; 
and that the Johnston Act of 1770 was but the prototype of the 
five intolerable acts of the British Parliament of 1774, which set 
all America aflame. 

But the Regulators were not allowed to go their way in peace. 
Numerous efforts were made to win them to the cause of inde- 
pendence, and to these efforts Person lent his influence. The 
Hillsboro Convention of 1775 appointed him member of a com- 
mittee to confer with such of the inhabitants of the province 


"who entertain any religious or political scruples with respect to 
associating in the common cause of America, to remove any ill 
impressions that have been made upon them by the artful de- 
vices of the enemies of America, and to induce them, by argu- 
ment and persuasion, heartily to unite with us for the pro- 
tection of the constitutional rights and privileges thereof" 
(X, 169). 

Again, the Council of Safety, on August 3, 1776, resolved that 
General Person and Mr. Joseph John Williams "do each of them 
agree with a proper person for the purpose of instructing the in- 
habitants of Anson County and other the western parts of this 
colony in their duty to Almighty God, and for explaining to them 
the justice and necessity of the measures pursued by the United 
States of America" (X, 693). 

But that the Provincial Convention of 1775 knew little of the 
character of the Regulators in particular, or of human nature in 
general, is shown by their making Richard Caswell, Maurice 
Moore and Henry Pattillo members of this committee to win 
them to the American cause. Nothing shows more dearly the 
greatness of Thomas Person than his participation in the Regula- 
tion and his subsequent part in the Revolution. Other R^;ula- 
tors, by reason of narrowness of vision, or from personal spite, 
or from littleness, might hang back or even join the Tory inter- 
ests, to which they were invited and urged by the successor of 
the brutal Tryon, but not Person. As Colonel Saunders has well 
said, the most ardent friend of the Regulation might be willing 
to stake the reputation of the cause on the character of Thomas 
Person, Church of England man though he was, friend of educa- 
tion, wealthy if not aristocratic, patriot and democrat of demo- 

Person was again in the Assembly in November, 1771, in Janu- 
ary and December, 1773, March, 1774, and April, 1775. Al- 
though he was a commissioner on public buildings in HiUsboro 
district in 1771, he seems nevertheless to have suffered some- 
what from his participation in the popular uprising; but as time 
passed on and efforts were made by Martin to quiet the feelii^ 


of the Regulators, Person comes more and more into promi- 
nence, and by sheer weight of character made himself a neces- 
sity to the colony. 

As the struggle with Great Britain drew on be became one of 
the foremost advocates of separation. On February 12, 1776, he 
writes to his father of the "advocates of liberty" (X, 450) ; on 
the 14th, his friend, Penn, a neighbor, citizen of the same 
county, possibly a sympathizer with the Regulators, now in the 
Continental Congress, perhaps in great measure Ihroiigh his in- 
fluence, surveys the situation and writes: "Matters are drawing 
to a crisis. They seem determined to persevere and are forming 
alliances against us. Must we not do something of tlie lll<e na- 
ture? . . . The consequence of making alliances is perhaps a total 
separation from Britain" (X, 456). This letter was received, 
perhaps, about March ist. On the 3d the Provincial Council, of 
which Person was a member, ordered the next session of the Pro- 
vincial Congress to be held at Halifax on April 2d. The delegates 
met on April 4th ; the North Carolina delegates to the Continental 
Congress arrived on the 7th; on the 8th, Harnett, Alien Jones, 
Burke, Abner Nash, John Kinchen, Person and Thomas Jones 
were appointed a committee to take into ■ consideration "the 
usurpations and violences attempted and committed by the king 
and Parliament of Britain against America, and the further meas- 
ures to be taken for frustrating the same and for the better de- 
fense of this province" (Col. Rec, X, xvii-xviii, 504) ; 
on the i2th, the committee brought in a resolution empowering 
the delegates from North Carolina in the Continental Congress 
"to concur with the delegates of the other colonies in declaring 
independency, and forming foreign alliances," 

And thus on April 12, 1776, North Carolina became the first 
of the colonies to make a formal proposal for a declaration of 

Was not this proposal as much or more the work of Thomas 
Person than of any other man ? Perhaps we shall never find evi- 
dence that will settle this point beyond dispute, but no student 
of our history will dare claim that such an honor could belong 


by right of work done to any other man more than to Person or 
that any other citizen of our State was more worthy of this great 
and signal honor. 

Person was a. member of all the provincial conventions and 
congresses which took the place of the Assembly and of the gov- 
ernor from 1774 to 1776. 

1. New Bern, August 25-27, 1774 (C. R., IX, 1042). 

2. New Bern, April 3-7, 1775 (C. R., IX, 11 79). 

3. Hillsboro, August 20 to September 10, 1775 (X, 500). 

4. Halifax, April 4 to May 14, 1776 (X, 499). 

5. Halifax, November 12 to December 23, 1776 (X, 914). 
He served on their important committees and in the last was 

on the committees which drafted the Bill of Rights and the con- 
stitution. So satisfactory was the latter to the people of North 
Carolina that it remained in force for fifty-nine years without 
change ; of the declaration of rights it is sufficient to say that of 
its twelve clauses for the protection of individual rights eleven 
were embodied in the first ten amendments to the Constitution of 
the United States (Col. Rec, X, xxiii, xxv). 

He had been chosen a member of the Provincial Council, Sep- 
tember 9, 1775 (X, 214). This body was the executive head of 
the State, and had Johnston as a member. Johnston and 
Allen Jones represented the more conservative element. They 
favored a strong government, a sort of representative Republi- 
canism, modeled on Great Britain. The more progressive or radi- 
cal wing, led by Willie Jones and Person, favored a simpler gov- 
ernment and one more directly responsible to the people. The 
Provincial Council under the influence of the conservatives was 
slow, while the mass of the congress was with the radicals. As 
a result for the Provincial Council was substituted a Council of 
Safety, Person still a member (X, 581), with no practical change 
in its functions further than in name ; but with the radical Willie 
Jones as the representative of the congress, and with the con- 
servative Johnston omitted altogether. 

On April 22, 1776, Person was elected brigadier-general of the 
militia of Hillsboro district (X, 530) and was succeeded in this 


office in 1777 by John Butler. This was not the time when to 
be a militia general meant ease and quiet. It meant work, the 
raising of troops for active service, drilling, collecting supplies 
and actual fighting in suppression of Tory marauders. It was 
no sinecure^ but Person was never, so far as I know, in actual 
battle. His service to the State, like that to the Regulators, was 
in the cabinet, not on the field. 

He was made by the last Pro^ O < j 1 

peace for Granville (XXIII, 993) i nl • t C 

of State (X, 1013), his fellow-cou II . 5 V i ] 

William Haywood, Edward Starkey, Jose L< 1 T 

Eaton. He was nominated for the same office i 
of election (XVII, 810, 894), and again in i; , b at 
period asked to have his name withdrawn (XXI, , 3, ; 
In May, 1782 he was nominated for the Co C 

but failed of election (XVI, 90; XIX, 57) ; 11, i; 

was elected to the Continental Congress, but it 
there was more expense and labor in beu t *r ot 

than money and honor. Person never \ d 

nowhere appears in the list of North Laroli L 
(XVII, 79, 139, 143; XIX, 583). 

In January, 1787, he was elected along with William Green and 
Matthew Locke chief commissioner for receiving the certificates 
of the Board of Commissioners of Army Accounts (XVIII, 451, 
459). It was their duty to receive and correct the proceedings 
of the commissioners appointed to settle the accounts of the North 
Carolina troops in the Continental Line (XX, 630; XXI, 551) 
and thus bring to a final settlement the accounts of North Carolina 
with the United States. It was a delicate duty and one requiring 
the highest degree of honesty. Many frauds had been committed 
in the preparation of these accounts. These were discovered and 
were followed by a long investigation, the trial and punishment 
of the guilty parties (State Rec, XVII and XVIII, passim; Mc- 
Ree's "Iredell," II, 155-6). 

One of Person's most important services to the State was as 
a leader of the anti- Federal party in the convention of 1788; but 


before proceeding to discuss that convention, which was called to 
consider the Federal constitution, it is necessary to review briefly 
the alignment of political parties. From 1776 there were two 
clearly defined parties in the State. They were a unit as to re- 
sistance to the aggressions of Great Britain, but in domestic mat- 
ters the lines of party cleavage were sharply defined. One party 
we may call the Conservative ; it was strongest in the east ; was led 
by Johnston, Iredell, Hooper, Maclaine. It was aristocratic and 
wealthy, stood for the slaveholding, commercial and mercantile 
interests ; it preferred a strong central government and was slow 
to advocate democracy. The other party we may call Radical. 
It was stronger in the north and west. It was nearer the soil 
and the people. Its leaders were Willie Jones, Person, the Blood- 
worths, Spencer, Locke, Alexander Martin, Rutherford, and 
others. They were ultra-democratic, even radical in their ten- 
dencies and ardent advocates from the first of an extremely demo- 
cratic government. The struggle began in the first Halifax con- 
gress, April, 1776, or earlier, and was won by the radicak as is 
shown by the substitution of the Council of Safety for the Pro- 
vincial Council. The question of the new constitution also de- 
veloped differences and the April congress deferred its adoption 
to a later congress to be elected for that particular purpose out of 
deference to the wishes of the minority. Johnston stood as t 
candidate for this congress from Chowan County and was de- 
feated (McRee's "Iredell," I, 238, 281) and this left him sulldng 
in his tent. He refused to serve as treasurer and Iredell bitterly 
resented his defeat by writing his "Creed of a Rioter" (McRee, 
I, 335-336) ; Iredell later resigned as attorney general and Hooper 
left the Continental Congress. But the Radicals were liberal and 
patient and kept many of the conservatives in office as the price 
of their support (r/. Dodd's "Macon," 30; and Saunders, prcf. 
notes, Col. Rec, X). In 1780-81, as the tide of wa^ surged intD 
North Carolina and went against her, the conservatives grew in 
numbers and power; after the war ended they championed the 
Tory interests and continued to grow. Johnston was their peren- 
nial candidate for governor, but Caswell was agreed on as a 


t of compromise. When the time for considering the Federal 
istitution 'drew near each exerted itself to the utmost lo win 
itrol of the convention. The Radicals, whom we may now call 
ti-Fcderalists and who became the nucleus of the first Re- 
}lican party, demanded : ( i ) A free and absolutely independent 
te, for a few years at least; (2) a genuinely democratic ad- 
listration; (3) a general improvement in educational advan- 
es for the people. In accord with the last of these demands the 
ite actually entered on a plan of public improvements which 
icipated that urged in the State thirty years later by Murphey 
1 in the Union fifty years later by Clay (Dodd, 14-90). 
The Anti-Federalists won control of the convention. It met 
Hillsboro, July 21, 1788. Person was a member from Gran- 
ge; on his motion Samuel Johnston was made president (XXII, 
He was himself a member of the committee on elections 
JCII, 7). It is evident from the journals that he took a leading 
1 in the business, but he does not seem to have been a frequent 
aker. The first trial of strength came on August i, when the 
ivention considered the report of the committee of ttie whole 
ise on a proposed Bill of Rights and certain amendments. The 
ramble to the report of the Committee of the Whole 

Resolved, That a Declaration of Rights, asserting and securing from 
roachtnent ihe great principles of civil and religious liberty, and the 
ilienable rights of the people, together with amendments to the most 
biguous and exceptionable parts of the said constitution of governmmt, 
;ht to be laid t>efore Congress and the convention of states that shall be 
led for the purpose of amending the said constitution, for their con- 
eration, previous to the ratification of the constitution aforesaid, on the 
■t of the State of North Carolina" (XXII, 16). 

[redell moved that all of this report be stricken out, that the 
istitution be adopted and that certain amendments be then pro- 
sed. This motion brought out the strength of the respective 
rties: For the motion, 84; against, 184; on August 2d, the re- 
nt of the Committee of the Whole was again taken up and con- 
rred with: yeas, 184; nays, 84. 


After the report of the Committee of the Whole was adopted 
Willie Jones moved : 

"Whereas this convention has thought proper neither to ratify nor reject 
the constitution proposed for the government of the United States; and 
as Congress will proceed to act under the said constitution, ten states hav- 
ing ratified the same, and probably lay an impost on goods imported into 
the said ratifying states: 

** Resolved, That it be recommended to the legislature of this State that 
whenever Congress shall pass a law for collecting an impost in the states 
aforesaid, this State enact a law for collecting a similar impost on goods 
imported into this State, and appropriate the money arising therefrom to 
the use of Congress" (XII, 31). 

This resolution, passed by 143 yeas to 44 nays, the Federal 
leaders voting in the negative, shows as clearly as words can 
show that the desire of Jones, Person and other Anti-Federalists 
was for a Federal government of limited powers and that their 
purpose was not to establish an independent republic as has been 
recently claimed by Professor Dodd (see his **Macon," p. 54), 
but to protect the interests of the states against the centralizing 
tendency which was even then clearly visible in the new constitn- 
tion to those who had eyes to see, Davie reports that both 
Person and Jones were holding out the doctrine of opposi- 
tion for four or five years at least. Jones feared the Federal 
judiciary and Person the Federal power to tax (McRee, II. 
178* 239). 

It was thus that North Carolina declined to either ratify or 
reject the Federal Constitution by a decided majority of loovotei 
Whether it was the wiser policy to adopt first and then adc for 
amendments or wait till the amendments were adopted, a chiU 
can tell. As to which of these parties could read the book of the 
future aright is equally easy of discernment. 

Many public men in the State desired that a second Federal con- 
vention be called to revise the new constitution in the light of 
the criticisms upon it, and Person, along with Johnston, IreddL 
Tim Bloodworth, Jos. McDowell, Sr., Dupre, Locke, Alfred 
Moore, Spencer and Allen Jones were chosen by the AssemUf 


on November 24, 1788, to attend such a convention of the whole 
United States "should one be called" (XX, 53S, 544; XXI, 94, 
lOo). Their desire was for a constitution more in accord with 
the will of theRaciicals and that a constitution acceptable to Blood- 
worth and Person would have been decentralized there can be no 

The constitutional convention held in Fayetteville in November, 
1789, was a small affair. The government of the United States 
had been organized under the constitution and was working wel!. 
The Anti-Federalists had received assurances that the substance 
of the atnendmerts proposed by them would be incorporated 
into the constitution ; eleven states had accepted the instrument 
and North Carolina and Rhode Island alone remained out. The 
convention met November 16, 1789. Willie Jones failed of elec- 
tion. Johnston was again made president and Person was again 
on the committee on elections. The convention went into a Com- 
mittee of the Whole to consider the constitution and sat three 
days. The Anti- Federalists moved that its report be rejected and 
that certain amendments be proposed. These forbade interfer- 
ence with the election of senators and representatives, dealt with 
the levying of direct taxes, the redemption of paper money by the 
states and the introduction of foreign troops. But the amend- 
ments were defeated by 187 nays to 82 yeas, Spencer, Caldwell, 
MJooflworth, Person and others voting yea (XXII, 45, 46). The 
convention then proceeded to adopt the constitution, 195 yeas to 
77 nays. Person, true to his convictions and game to the last, 
voted nay (XXII, 48. 49). 

On November 24, 1789, when the Federal constitution had been 
formally adopted, the Assembly proceeded to elect senators to 
Congress. Person was nominated by the house of commons, but 
the Federalists were in power and such radicals as Person and 
Bloodworth went down before Johnston and Hawkins (XXI, 253, 
614). When his party again came into power in 1794-95 Person's 
race had been run, but he had the pleasure of seeing his radical 
comrades Alexander Martin and Timothy Bloodworth succeed 
Johnston and Hawkins. 


But, after all, Thomas Person's most important and valuable 
service to North Carolina was not as an Anti-Federalist member 
of the conventions of 1788 and 1789, nor as a military man, nor as 
a philanthropist, but as a member of the General Assembly. 
There he was always active, generally a radical, always an argus- 
eyed guardian of the rights of the people, an advocate, ardent, 
insistent and constant of the interests of the masses, and conse- 
quently hated and always feared by the representatives of the 
aristocratic, conservative interests. 

Person represented Granville County in the Assembly in the 
house of commons almost continuously from 1764 to 1785; he 
was defeated in 1786; was in the senate in 1787; again in the 
house in 1788, 1790, 1793, and 1794. (It is believed that the 
Thomas Person in the house in 1795 and 1797 was his nephew). 
In all, he represented his county some thirty years, a length of 
service which in itself is a most eloquent proof of his usefulness 
and of the appreciation of his people. It does not require a long 
or an extended examination of the legislative journals to show his 
prominence and usefulness. He served on the most important 
committees: public accounts, military matters, privileges and 
elections, propositions and grievances, finance, defence, depreda- 
tions of Tories, location of capital, affairs of North Carolina 
Line, manufacture of iron, raising regular troops and regulating 
commissary department, on bill of attainder, paper moneyi debts* 
due to and from the public, Indian affairs, land grants, on vest- 
ing power in Continental Congress to levy duties, claims and 
depreciation, trial of impeachments, revenue, proposed revision of 
the constitution, Virginia boundary, confiscated property, etc 
He was usually chairman of his committee and presented manj 
reports to the house; in 1784 he was chairman of the whole; 
never seeking the honors of the house, he was an active working 
member, bringing in many bills, serving on many special 
mittees, presenting many petitions and memorials from 
of the State remote from his own. It is evident, too, that he 
a fighter. No form of what he thought injusti(:e, illegality or 
graft could escape his quick eye or pass without a protest. Tte 



in 1782, on petition of O'Bryan, Duncan and Pittman, who were 
being held as military deserters by Sumner, he recommended that 
they be discharged from the Continental army (XVI, 137)- In 
1783 he voted against the seating of his pohtical friend, Blood- 
worth, as it seemed to him illegal (XIX, 292). In 1784 he pro- 
tested against the cession of Tennessee to the Federal Government 
XIX, 714), and had his protests been heeded the troubles coming 
from the abortive state of Franklin would have been avoided. 
He was particularly vigorous in protest again wiiatever savored 
of injustice or class legislation. Thus in 1785 be protested 
against the salt tax and the uniform tax on lands because they 
placed undue burdens on the poor, and againsfthe confiscation act 
bceause it was illegal, unjust and ex-post-facto (XVII, 409, 410, 
419, 421). 

There is plenty of evidence also that Person was a man of 
strong feeling and made personal enemies. Thus Maclaine writes 
bitterly of his political methods, which were never to produce 
"his budget till he is pretty certain he has sufficient strength to 
support it" (XXI, 504) ; and when the constitution question was 
uppermost Thomas Iredell runs fft his brother with a tale that 
Person had said in substance that Washington was a damned 
rascal and traitor to his country, for putting his hand to such an 
infamous paper as the new constitution (McRee, II, 224, 

The feeling of the conservative and aristocratic party toward 
him may be seen in a letter of Johnston to Burke, dated June 
26, 1777: 

"The few good men. or men of understanding and business, who had 
inclinniion or intend to be either of the legislature or executive depart- 
ment', arc by no mtans sufficient to counterbalance the fools and knaves 
who by their low arts have worked themselves into the good graces of the 
populace. When I tell you that I saw with indignation such men u 
G— th R—d, T— s P— s— n [Griffith Rutherford and Thomas Person], ftod 
your colleague J. Penn, with a few others of the same stamp, principal 
leaders in both houses, you will not expect that anything- good or great 
should proceed from the counsels of men of such narrow, contracted prin- 
ciples, supported by the most contemptible abilities" (XI, 504). 


Even Caswell, with whom he had fought many battles and 
whose personal ambitions he had so often advanced, was not 
always true. He writes to Hawkins September 29, 1786 : 

"I cannot say it gives me great pain to hear my old friend, the general, 
was disappointed in the late election for Granville, or that he is much 
mortified at being left out, as I flatter myself his country will derive ad- 
vantage from his absence from the legislature, which his jealousy pre- 
vented when present, and kept her fronL However, he may yet succeed 
in his favorite scheme of appointing a new governor for the next year, as 
his pernicious opinions and false suggestions are gone forth and he very 
likely will still have effrontery sufficient to endeavor to support them when 
the governor, conscious of the rectitude of his own conduct, and his 
friends, careless abouf the matter, may take no pains to contravene his 
attempt" (XVIII, 751). 

From these extracts it is not hard to see that Person was not 
one to fawn on those in power or to ask favors of the great. It 
is also evident that his political life had in it much of storm and 
stress and that he was a man who delighted in the joy of battle. 
He was a man of wealth, but not penurious. During the war his 
property was at the service of* the State. We find the State in 
1781 repaying him for a loan of salt (XVH, 971, 974) and be- 
tween June, 1781, and April 25, 1782, he loaned Governor Burke 
$50,000 "to be replaced or paid by warrant which I did not issue" 
(XVI, 299). He assisted in securing the charter for the Uni- 
versity of North Carolina in 1789 and was a member of its first 
board of trustees, 1789-95. But this was not all. While the Uni- 
versity had been chartered no support had been provided for it by 
the State. An effort was being made to open its doors to students, 
but the trustees and faculty had no money. Its fortunes were at 
the lowest ebb. The trustees could or would do nothing in their 
private capacity, when Person came forward, and on April 20, 
1796, gave the infant institution £500, and in April, 1797, £25 
more. This sum, aggregating $1050 in our money, was paid in 
silver dollars at a time when hard money was almost unattainable. 
The gift, for the time and section, a very large one, perhaps aived 
the institution and started it on a career of usefulness. Person 


Hall, known after 1837 as "the old chapel" and used in more 
recent years as a chemical laboratory, was named in his honor, 
and until the reopening of the University in 1875 all its diplomas 
were dated from Aula Personica. A street in Raleigh, another in 
Fayetteville, and Person County, erected in 1791, recall his name 
and fame. 

General Person married his cousin. Tradition says 1 
was Johanna Philpot, of Granville (b. September 15, 17 ). 
died insane and without issue. He had two sisters, rt 
married Major Thomas Taylor, of Franklin Cou /, 
Ann (b. May 6, 1736), who married Major i le Lit 
of Chief Justice Little, and a Revolutionary riot of i 
County. General Person adopted his nepl Wil ] 

Little, who was a son of this marriage, ed 
College, near Williamsboro, in Granville County, j i 

of his property, and it is in his honor that I 
also had a brother, William Person (b. N em • , i; , 
a brother, Benjamin (b. February 13, 1737). 

Person's family seat was at Goshen in Granville C 
sycamore trees planted by him are still standing, but a 
condition. He died in Franklin County, at the home ot sister, 
Mrs. Taylor, on November 16, 1800 (not 1799, as Whee * says) 
while on his way from Raleigh to Goshen, and is buried Per- 
sonton on Hub Quarter Creek in Warren County. 

The Raleigh Register for Tuesday, November 25, 1800, has a 
notice of his death and character. It is reproduced here, for it 
shows the esteem of his own generation. 

•'Died. At the house of Major Taylor, in Franklin County, on Sunday, 
the i6th inst., Thomas Person, of Warren, in the sixty-seventh year of his 

"This gentleman was long a member of the General Assembly of North 
Carolina, as well before as since the Revolution, and at all times conducted 
himself in such a manner as to manifest a proper and steady regard, not 
only to the interests of his immediate constituents, but likewise to the 
welfare and happiness of the people of the State at large. 

"He was a member of the first convention and of all the subsequent con- 
ventions had in this State. . . . 


"He died as he lived, a firm believer and fixed Republican ; and althoagfa 
he left no children, ... he has raised up for himself a name which will 
neither be forgotten nor cease to be respected. ..." 

Archibald Henderson, a younger contemporary, congressman, 
and great lawyer, pronounced Person one of nature's noblemen, 
and Colonel William L. Saunders, a Democrat after Person's 
own heart, says of him: "Wherever devoted, intelligent, efficient 
patriotism was required. Person was promptly put on duty. . . . 
And to-day North Carolina bears in her bosom the bones of no 
purer patriot than those of Thomas Person" (Col. Rec., VIII, 

XXX ). 

Sources: Private information from representatives of the 
Person family for use in my "Life of Mangum" ; the Colonial and 
State Records, passim, where Person's public life is fully por- 
trayed, with many useful suggestions as to the complexion of 
political parties in that day from Saunders' "Prefatory Notes and 
Dodd's Life of Macon.'* 

Stephen B. Weeks. 


Alexander milne powell, 

I) mayor of Raleigh, which o ; 
' five years, is a son of Dr. Len B i P 
J originally a resident of Wari C 
1 but who removed to Na; r "] i., 
^ Mr. Powell was bom on t 4, 

both sides were members 
in Warren and Hahfax coun N. C I 
his mother, Mary Cox, a sister of General William R. Cox, 01 
Edgecomb, he is of English descent. Her grandfather. Captain 
Cox, was a native of London, and having a disposition for sea 
life, obtained a position in the British navy, but afterward 
emigrated to America, and during the Revolutionary war en- 
gaged in the American merchant service, and was captured by the 
British and held as a prisoner of war. Thomas Cox, his son, 
later settled in Halifax County, and after his death his widow 
moved with her children to Nashville, Tenn. Here Alexander 
Powell received his early education and spent his childhood, 
attending the primary and academic schools of the neighborhood 
until the outbreak of the civil war, which put an end to thoughts 
of study in the minds of southern youth. The Powell family 
warmly supported the southern cause, and at the fall of Fort 
Donelson, Mr, Powell, a boy of thirteen, came to North Carolina 
and entered the military service as soon as his age permitted. 


When only fifteen years old, on September 4, 1862, he enlisted in 
Company I, the Second North Carolina regiment, then under the 
command of his uncle, W. R. Cox, and a part of Rapiseur's bri- 
gade. On General Ramseur's promotion to the command of the 
division, General Cox succeeded to the command of the brigade, 
and Mr. Powell was detailed as orderly at his headquarters^ in 
which capacity he served until the end of the war. On duty with 
the brigade, he experienced all the vicissitudes of its hard service, 
and participated in EwelFs famous campaign, and shared in the 
hardships of the terrible siege of Petersburg and the still more 
terrible march with Lee to Appomattox. It was in the dark hours 
of that fearful experience that Cox's brigade had the good fortune 
to bring a gleam of sunshine into the heart of Lee and to receive 
in return his benediction. The Confederate chieftain had stopped 
by the roadside and was striving to rally the straggling, famished 
and disordered remnant of his army, once the admiration of the 
world, when he heard the measured tread of soldiers marching in 
time, and an orderly column came into view, **a small but entire 
brigade, its commander at its head, and filed promptly to its 
appointed position." A smile of momentary joy passed over the 
saddened features of the general, as he asked : *'What troops are 
these?" "Cox's North Carolina brigade," was the reply. Then 
it was that taking off his hat and bowing his head, with courtesy 
and kindly feeling, Lee exclaimed: **God bless North Carolina!" 
Mr. Powell was present at Appomattox, and his memory will 
ever recall the scene when the curtain fell upon the last act in the 
great drama of the war. In the early dawn of that fateful morn* 
ing. Cox's brigade formed part of a force that was moved forward 
to drive the enemy from the front, and open the way for the 
wagon trains to pass. That had been accomplished, and all was in 
readiness for the further movement as designed. But Lee had 
determined not needlessly to sacrifice the lives of his devoted 
troops by prolonging the hopeless struggle, and ordered the 
advanced brigades to return to their former positions. When the 
order was received, recalling the troops that had been thrown 
forward and had driven the enemy from the front, Cox's brigade 


wras directed to remain until the last and protect the retr 
movement. As the Confederate brigades withdrew, the Ft 
forces rushed forward to attack, and Cox's brigade charged t 
Bmd drove them back, unconscious of the fact that Lee had all y 
surrendered. It was Mr. Powell's fortune to bear the or 
this last charge at Appomattox, a memorable in< it, 
a dose the history of Lee's famous Army of N< t \ 

After the war Mr. Powell prepared himself for entran 
active life by taking a course at a business college in > 
Tenn., and then spent some years in teaching school. Ls 
turned his attention to farming, and conducted a farm 
city of Raleigh, where he had made his home. In i h 
he entered into the wood, coal and feed business as 
the firm of Jones, Green & Powell, which, on the 1 
Mr. Green the next year, was continued as Jones & ; 
Rrhich name they carried on a large and lucrative 
twenty-five years, being finally dissolved in June, ig - 

While a thorough business man, attending strictly 
Mr. Powell has ever been an active and public-spir < 
las been interested always in the political and indi irs 

>f the city. In 1897 he became a member of the b( d of al 
nen, and upon the resignation of Mayor Russ, s choj 1 by 

Jie board to fill the vacancy; and the general isf action felt 
Jiroughout the city at his successful administration of municipal 
iffairs was evidenced at the end of his term by his re-election by 
Jie people, by a large majority. So efficiently and acceptably did 
lie discharge the duties of his office, that two years later he was 
nominated by the Democratic primary and again elected; and 
Dnce more in 1903 he was re-elected for the third time, and thus 
filled the office of mayor for four successive terms, having been 
elected once by the board of aldermen and three times by the 
people. In the administration of justice in the mayor's court, 
Mr. Powell was wise and prudent, and so dispensed rewards and 
punishments that the city was noted for its good order in the 
absence of any serious crimes; and during the period he was at 
the head of affairs the city made considerable growth and the 



improvements were notable, especially with regard to the streets, 
their condition being much superior to what it formerly was. The 
year of 1904, embraced in the period of his administration, will 
be memorable in the annals of the town for the adoption of the 
dispensary system and the closing of the saloons. 

Mr. Powell was a consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, South, and was a prominent and active member of the 
order of Odd Fellows and of the Royal Arcanum, having filled 
several offices in each, and having also served as noble grand in 
the body of Odd Fellows and as regent in the Ro3ral Arcanum. 

On November 24, 1874, Mr. Powell was married to Miss 
Jennie Jones, of Raleigh, and had six children. He died in 
Raleigh, N. C, November 3, 1907. 

5*. A. Ashe. 


joined Company B, Twelfth regiment North Carolina troops, in 
which he served until after the battle of Hanover Court House, 
when he was taken with typhoid fever and died on furlough, in 
June, 1862. 

Mr. Thomas Hall Raney married Miss Eliza Partridge Baird, 1 
daughter of Charles William Baird, of Mecklenburg County, Va^ 
and his wife, Mary Archer Hanserd. This Miss Hanserd was a 
descendant of John Speed, of Cheshire, Eng., the historian and 
geographer, who lived in Queen Elizabeth's time, and whose his- 
tory and maps of Great Britain were valuable works bearing on 
English history until recent years. Mrs. Raney's grandmother, 
Sarah Speed, was a granddaughter of James Speed, who settled 
in Virginia in 1695, and who was a great-grandson of the his- 
torian. Mr. Raney, being a planter with a considerable estate, 
never sought political office, but was highly esteemed for his 
integrity of character, firmness and benevolence. 

Of excellent and robust health, Richard Beverly Raney, the 
subject of this sketch and son of Thomas Hall Raney, grew up 00 
the farm and in the neighboring village of Kittrell, participatin{ 
in all the sports of his young companions, but having no special 
inclination except a fondness for mechanics. He attended the 
neighborhood schools and then took a course at the Fetter 
Academy, at Kittrell, not having the means to round up his edu- 
cation at college. 

When just eighteen years of age, Mr. R. B. Raney obtained! 
position as clerk at the Yarborough House, at Raleigh, kept hf 
his friend, Dr. George W. Blacknall, with whom he remained 
about four years, giving very efficient and satisfactory scrrioe^ 
both to the patrons and the proprietor. For another year he was 
cashier at the Kimball House, in Atlanta, when, an oppoftu n iy 
offering, he became lessee and proprietor of the Yarborotfh 
House, and returned to Raleigh. He had now had trabiifia 
every department of the hotel business ; and although but twenty- 
three years of age and very young to undertake the raanagemeflt ■ 
of such an establishment as the Yarborough House, alwajrs diS* 
cult to maintain on a satisfactory footing, he addressed himsdf 


to the task with a resolution and an earnest purpose to achieve 
success. Polite, courteous and efficient, he won the good will of 
his guests, while with great assiduity he looked after every detail 
of the administration, and soon had the satisfaction of realizing 
that there was a good profit in his business. For ten years he 
remained in control of the hotel, but during 1892 and 1893 he 
made an extended tour abroad, and shortly after his return gave 
up the management to Mr. L. T. Brown, and retired from con- 
nection with the business, becoming at that time the general agent 
for North Carolina of the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company. 
Contemporaneously with this change in his business, Mr. Raney 
was united in marriage to Miss Olivia Blount Cowper, of Raleigh, 
daughter of Pulaski Cowper and Mary Blount Grimes, a lady of 
such unusual gifts and disposition that she was generally beloved 
and most highly esteemed by the entire community. But death 
loves a shining mark, and this paragon of her sex was removed 
from her earthly home on May 4, 1896, after a happy married life 
of only seventeen months. A year later Mr. Raney resumed the 
lease of the hotel, and with a manager in immediate control, 
retained it for six years, when he again retired from that business. 

During Mr. Raney's sojourn in other lands he visited Asia and 
Africa as well as Europe. His impressions of the foreign coun- 
tries to which he strayed strengthened his convictions that he was 
fortunate in being born an American citizen. While he noted 
among other peoplus a contentment with their lot in life, in some 
contrast with the pushing energy of the Americans, he found 
nothing in the older countries to counterbalance the opportunities 
for success and achievement that life in the United States presents 
to tlie active man of business. The freedom and possibilities of 
our country tend to promote efforts which, although they some- 
times result in disappointment, yet, for the most part, lead to a 
stronger and more earnest interest in life than is found elsewhere. 

When Mr. Raney's poignant grief at the loss of his wife had 
somewhat subsided, he determined to erect a memorial to her 
memory that would be in harmony with the gracious influence she 
had exerted on tJie community which had regarded her with such 


general affection. To this end he designed a public library build- 
ing to be erected on the most appropriate lot in the city — ^the comer 
where the most beautiful street ends — fronting the spacious Capi- 
tol Square, and in close proximity to the tasteful Confederate 
monument. There he caused to be constructed an elegant build- 
ing, with the library apartments on the second floor and a spacious 
hall above, with stores, offices and the librarian's residence below. 
On the 15th day of February, 1899, ^^ obtained from the l^sla- 
ture an act of incorporation, and on the 20th of November of the 
same year, the trustees organized and elected R. H. Battle presi- 
dent, Rev. M.*M. Marshall vice-president, F. P. Ha3nvood secre- 
tary, H. W. Jackson treasurer, and Miss Jennie Coffin librarian. 
On the first day of the following February, Mr. Raney conveyed 
the property to the trustees ; and when the building was entirely 
finished and handsomely furnished and its shelves filled with choice 
books, the library was opened to the public on the evening of 
Thursday, January 24, 1901. On this occasion the services were 
elaborate, and there were seated on the rostrum along with the 
trustees, the governor of the State, the lieutenant-governor, the 
speaker of the house, the mayor and board of aldermen of the city 
and the pastors of all the local churches, and in the audience were 
many of the members of the legislature and other gentlemen 
interested in the cause of education and prominent in the city. 

Referring to this magnificent present to the citizens of Raleigh, 
President Battle, in the course of his announcement that the 
Library was now open to the public, remarked : 

"My friends, I know, I witnessed, how he grieved, how desolate his life 
was when she was taken from him; and after he conceived the idea of 
erecting some beautiful and useful memorial of her, and began to put the 
idea into execution, I saw how his very soul seemed to be wrapt in it and 
how he took pleasure in the work as it progressed, as if he were doing 
something to gratify her. And now what a product wc have of his taste 
and munificence ! Such a munificent gift I have never known before. Men 
of wealth have of their surplus means erected to the public more costly 
buildings, and that generally by directions in their wills; but this building 
was erected by a man in health and under middle age, and its actual cost 
represents almost his whole estate and it is given to the good people of 


Raleigh and those who are to come after them, freely and without reserva- 
tion of any interest to himself, except what all other while people of 
Raleigh have in equal degree. He wished me, in my a.niiounceinent, to 
■ay that it does belong to the people as a free gift." 

Not only is the building a beautiful one and an unrivaled orna- 
ment to the city, but it stands a conspicuous memorial of womanly 
virtues and loveliness of character, and is an object lesson of a 
high public spirit that exerts a constant influence on the com- 
munity ; and yet it has had a still more potent influence. The pur- 
pose of the library has been carried into effect ; and by its operation 
a most beneficial result has been achieved. It has had a marked 
influence in promoting literary habits among the young of the 
city, and the advantage it has been to the community in this regard 
cannot be over-estimated. 

In 1902, Mr. Raney purchased the sister lot to that on which 
the library stands, and there has one of the most beautiful resi- 
dences in the city ; his premises, along with the capitol square and 
the edifices in close proximity, making a picture of unusual beauty 
and elegance. 

On the z8th of April, 1903, Mr. Raney was most happily united 
in marriage to Miss Katherine Whiting Denson, and their union 
has been blessed by the birth of two children, a daughter, named 
for her grandmother, Margaret Denson, and a son, named for his 

Mr. Raney's characteristics may be presumed by the events of 
his life; he is painstaking, careful and prudent; the soul of 
courtesy and kindliness; a man devoid of selfishness, thinking of 
others rather than himself. His father having died when he was 
still a child, he fell directly under the care of his mother, and the 
influence of her noble spirit can be seen reflected in His life and 
disposition. His chief aim in life is to have a happy home and to 
make others happy. He is a member of the Protestant Episcopal 

S. A. Ashe. 


f WISE man was once asked, "When should the 
\ education of a youth begin?" He replied, 
"With his grandfather." Nature was kind in 
giving Colonel Thomas Robeson the ideal grand- 
1 father. Andrew Robeson, Jr., was bom in 
_ , Scotland in 1655. He came to America a 

mature man about the year 169c, and soon became active in pul^ 
affairs. He was a member of the council of William Penn for 
the government of Philadelphia. He acted as councillor under 
Governor Fletcher from 1693 to 1694, He was also chief justice 
of Pennsylvania, He was of the council of West Jersey for 
several years up to 1701, A graduate of Oxford Univer«^, 
England, he was qualified by education, as he was by moral char- 
acter and natural endowments, to fill these high stations and 
exercise these important trusts. He married Mary Spencer, of 
Stuart descent. She is buried at Swedish Church, near the navy 
yard, Philadelphia, while his remains were interred in St. Gabriel's 
churchyard, near Pottstown, Pa. 

Thomas Robeson, Sr., fourth son of Andrew and Mary Spencer 
Robeson, soon after his father's death, in 1719, came to North 
Carolina and was one of the early settlers of the Cape Fear, and 
located on the Northwest branch of that river, about seventy miles 
above Wilmington. He married Sarah Siim;letary, daughter of 
Richard Singletary, who resided in the same vicinity. Their 


homestead was called Walnut Grove, and is now in the possession 
of the sixth generation. The children of Thomas and Sarah 
Singletary Robeson were Thomas, Jr., Peter and Mary. 

Colonel Thomas Robeson, Jr., son of Thomas and Sarah Single- 
tary Robeson, the subject of this sketch, was born January li, 
1740, at Walnut Grove, Bladen County. 

He was one of the most distinguished sons of the Cape Fear, 
brave and ever true to his word, be the cause private or public. 
He was noted for his generosity ; quick to respond to the call for 
help from friend or country. Wheeler said: "Robeson and 
Ervine were the Percys of the Whigs and might justly be called 
the Hotspurs of the Cape Fear." Colonel Robeson's life was con- 
secrated to the cause of liberty and the welfare of his State. 
From the Colonial Records we learn that Colonel Thomas 
Robeson, Jr., was a member from Bladen County to tlie Provincial 
Convention which met at Hillsboro, August 2i, I775; and he 
was also a member of the Provincial Congress which met at Hali- 
fax, April 4, 1776, which declared for independence. He was a 
member of the Provincial Congress which met at Halifax, Novem- 
ber 12, 1776, and framed the Bill of Rights and State Constitution. 
By that body he was appointed a member of the committee to 
consider ways and means of bringing to Justice the Tories of 
Bladen County. He will always be remembered in North Caro- 
lina for his zeal and devotion to his country's cause during the 
trying days of the Revolution. His name is preserved in Robeson 
County, erected in 1786, which is one of the largest and most 
prosperous counties in the State. The Robeson county settlers 
were chiefly Scotch, of generous nature, hospitable, enterprising. 
They have made their influence tell for good. The recognized 
power of Robeson County in political parlance has been given in 
the words, "Hold Robeson and save the State." 

Colonel Thomas Robeson, Jr., and his brother. Captain Peter 

Robeson, were officers in the battle of Moore's Creek. So nobly 

did Bladen County's sons respond to their country's aid that 

Wheeler said : 

"There is no portion of Ihe State that was more determined or devoted 


to the cause of liberty than was Bladen in the earlier periods of our history. 
In no portion was the advocacy of the cause attended with greater peril 
from the number of Tories and the vicinity of the enemy's forces." 

At a council held on the i8th of July, 1775, on board the sloop 
Cruizer, Governor Martin informed the board that he had received 
advice that the people of the county of Bladen were pursuing the 
example of the people of Mecklenburg, whose treasonable pro- 
ceedings he had communicated to the council at the last meeting 
(Col. Rec, X, 106). A glance at the situation in Bladen 
County just before the battle of Moore's Creek will show the dan- 
ger to which its inhabitants were exposed, and the valor of the 
patriots. Bladen County lay in the heart of the Cape Fear section, 
in the very center of the Highland Scotch settlements. After the 
defeat of Prince Charles Edward Stuart, at CuUoden, in 1746, a 
great number of Scotch Highlanders were oflFercd pardon under 
the great seal upon condition of emigration to America. No one 
was allowed to embark without taking the oath of allegiance to 
King George. 

As early as 1729 a few Scotch families had settled on the upper 
Cape Fear. When the Highlanders were oflFered pardon under 
condition of emigration to America and allegiance to King George 
shipload after shipload found their way to their kinsmen already 
located on that river, and this migration continued until it was 
interrupted by the Revolution. Their settlements covered large 
areas of territory with Cross Creek as a center. At the outbreak 
of the Revolution, the Scotch settlers covered the present counties 
of Cumberland, Bladen, Duplin, Sampson, Robeson, Scotland, 
Moore, Harnett and Anson. 

Some of the settlers on the Cape Fear emigrated from New 
Jersey and Pennsylvania ; these were almost to a man Whigs, but 
the oath-bound settlers, coming direct from Scotland, were the 
most numerous, and they remained loyal to King George. 

Driven from his palace in May, 1775, Governor Josiah Martin 
recommended a plan for the subjugation of North Carolina, which 
the ministry adopted. Sir Henry Clinton, with some regiments 
from Halifax, N. S., was to be joined at Brunswick by some r^- 


ments from Great Britain under Comwallis, and a fleet under Sir 
Peter Parker. This force was expected to arrive during February, 
and they were to be aided by the Loyahsts of the interior. To 
carry out this purpose Governor Martin issued a proclamation 
commanding all the king's subjects to rally to the royal standard 
committed to General Donald McDonald at Cross Creek, Nearly 
2000 Highlanders responded, and these were joined by some 
Loyalists who had been Regulators five years earlier. In the midst 
of these preparations. Colonel James Moore with his regiment of 
North Carolina Continentals, and the minute men and militia of 
Bladen and New Hanover, and some other troops, numbering 
about 1 100 in all, marched toward Cross Creek and took post on 
Rockfish. General McDonald, finding, to his dismay, that road to 
Wilmington blocked and wishing to avoid an engagement, crossed 
the Cape Fear and sought a more northern route. The battle of 
Moore's Creek ensued, and while it lasted only a few minutes, 
the victory of the Whig forces was complete. It defeated Mar- 
tin's plans of subjugation, and ended British rule in North Caro- 
lina. But the Tories were not won to the American cause. Par- 
ticularly were the Scotch true to their allegiance to the Crown. 
They remained sullen and discontented. Somewhat later the 
Whig government required a test oath, proposing to expel from 
the province those who were hostile to the cause of independence. 
Nevertheless, a large loyal element remained, and Bladen and the 
adjoining counties were the scene of factional strife. On the 
approach of the British to Camden in 1780, Tory companies were 
formed, the disaffected element took arms, and an internecine 
warfare began which continued with violence until toward the 
close of the war. At the end of January, 1781, Major Craig, 
with a body of regulars, took possession of Wilmington, which 
he fortified, and he established posts up the northeast branch 
and along the northwest branch of the Cape Fear River. The 
Tory leaders now embodied large forces and ravaged the coun- 
try. Colonel Thomas Robeson and his brother. Captain Peter 
Robeson, were Whig officers in the cam[>aign against McDonald, 
and fought bravely at Moore's Creek. They were active Whigs 


throughout all that period, and were objects of Tory resentment 

and vengeance. In 1781 Colonel David Fanning was the chief 

partisan leader on the Tory side, cruel, bloody and relentless. 

He scourged the country from Guilford to Wilmington. In his 

''Narrative*' he says: 

"I then concluded to go to Wilmington for a supply of ammunition. I 
got to Cross Creek on August 11 [1781], when Major Samuel Andrews 
joined me with his company and scouted all through the rebel settlement 
on the north side of the river, and took a number of prisoners, arms, and 
horses. I also discovered where twenty-five barrels of salt was concealed 
for the rebel army ; I destroyed it, and then marched down the south side 
and came to a plantation belonging to a Captain Robeson, which I burned. 
From thence I marched to his brother's. Colonel Robeson, which I served 
in the same manner.*' 

Fanning arrived at Wilmington on the 24th of August and on 
the 26th proceeded to return. He says : 

''On my arrival at Elizabethtown I found Colonel Slingsby with a num- 
ber of paroled rebels in his camp, advised him to be careful (and passed 
on). That night they rose, fired on his camp, and wounded him mortally. 
Five captains also were wounded; some of them died afterward of their 
wounds. The day following I arrived at McFall's Mills, about sixty miles, 
when I despatched ninety of my men back to render assistance, on re- 
ceiving the unfortunate account of Colonel Slingsby's misfortune; but it 
was too late, as the rebels had taken to the woods and got off." 

Captain Peter Robeson never forgave Fanning's inhuman treat- 
ment. He visited sore vengeance on the Tories, and he is known 
on the Cape Fear as "Bloody Peter." 

We can see that the situation in Bladen in 1781 was deplorable 
for the Whigs. The Tories had gained control of the county. A 
large number of the Whigs had been driven out. The Tories 
plundered and burned houses, beheaded and hanged men by the 
wholesale — because they were Whigs. Many of the homeless, 
hungry Whigs fled to Duplin County, where there was less dan- 
ger. A contemporary writer, William Dickson, of Duplin, "the 
foremost man in his county and a leader in civil affairs/* in a 
letter written November 30, 1784, writes : "In Bladen County the 
Tories were more numerous and more insolent than in any 


In the summer of 1781, Major Craig, one of the most efEctent 
ofKcers in the British army, remained in Wilmington, encourag- 
ing the Tories to carry on their guerrilla warfare. The den- 
ization of the Tory army created such terror and the outlook for 
the Whig cause became so low, that out of the fifteen companies 
in Bladen, twelve inclined to the Loyalists. Thus surrounded by 
the Tories and the British troops under Craig at Wilmington, the 
Bladen Whigs were indeed in sore straits, but their intrepid spirits 
never quailed. They yielded not to despair, but courted death 
in the struggle for independence. Driven from their homes, they 
continued the contest against fearful odds, and to the constancy 
and endurance of these patriot bands the subjugation of the Tory 
element of the lower Cape Fear was entirely due. Many were the 
encounters between the warring forces, but the decisive battle 
took place at Elizabethtown, August 29, 1781. 

Wheeler says of the battle of Elizabethtown: "This action pro- 
duced in North Carolina as sudden and as happy results as the 
battles of Trenton and Princeton, in New Jersey," 

The published accounts of the battle of Elizabethtown state 
that General Brown was in command. The fact is ihat Colonel 
Robeson commanded. 

Mrs. Harriss, a lineal descendant of Colonel Robeson, has fur- 
nished the writer with a copy of a letter written by Mr, Robert E. 
Troy, in 1845, dictated by James Cain, of Bladen County, James 
Cain was a participant in this battle and tells the story of the 
battle to Mr. Troy. This letter appeared in the Robesonian 
(Lumbcrton, N. C), and corrects Wheeler's statement, which was 
due to misinformation. Mrs, Harriss has also notes concerning 
the illness of General Brown at that time. Colonel Robeson and 
General Brown married sisters — Mary and Sarah Bartram, and 
family notes and reminiscences exchanged between them are in 
the possession of Mrs. Harriss. 

My information is largely obtained from this letter written by 
Mr. Troy, dictated by James Cain, Bladen County. 

In the summer of ijSi, 400 Tories, under Colonel Shngsby, 
occupied FJizabetiitown. Four miles above, at Brompton, Fan- 


ning commanded 500. There were among them some true 
Whigs who had been compelled to take up arms against their 
country, Tliese were the oath-bound settlers, and were called 
''Singed Tories." These bands of soldiers devastated the coun- 
try, committing horrible outrages. The Whigs in the neighbor- 
hood under Colonel Robeson numbered only 180. They felt too 
weak to attack the Tories. 

Colonel Brown, the regular commanding officer of the Whigs, 
had been wounded a short time before, in a skirmish near Wil- 
mington. As Colonel Robeson's former commission had expired, 
he volunteered, at the request of Colonel Brown and the Whigs 
generally, to take the command. These 180 patriots hid in the 
swamps for three weeks, hoping for recruits, and trying to cut 
off detached parties of Tories. With no hopes of reenforcements, 
and encountering no Tories, they marched through Duplin, 
Johnston, Wake, Chatham and upper Cumberland, hoping to en- 
list their fellow- Whigs. 

In this march they found many friends, but though three mus- 
ters were called, not a man enlisted. After a six weeks' tour they 
returned to Duplin. Instead of increasing their number, they had 
left only 71 of the original company. Some had deserted and 
others were on furlough. Those left were mounted on horses, 
the bones of which protruded through the skin. The elbows, 
shoulders and knees of nearly all the soldiers were exposed 
Worn out, dejected, dispirited, they reached the home of Gabriel 
Holmes. Here Colonel Robeson announced his determination to 
return home and meet the Tories, or die in the attempt. This 
band of 71 men, broken down from a long march, set out defiantly 
to do battle against 400 British soldiers. They were goaded on 
by despair, as at resting places they were met by messengers who 
told them of fresh outrages upon their families. 

After a two days' march through a desolate country they 
reached the banks of the Cape Fear opposite Elizabethtown. They 
had eaten no regular meals for some time, living on jerked beef 
and a scanty supply of bread. The horses had eaten only the 
grass gathered by the roadside. 


The moon shone nearly all night, said Cain, and just as it ceased 
to give light, about daybreak, this band of 69 worn out patriots 
forded the river. One man was left to take care of the horses. 
These 69 determined patriots undressed, carrying their arms and 
clothes on their heads, and plunged into the river. They were 
divided into three companies of 23 each. 

The signal of attack was to be the first gun fired by a Tory 
sentinel. The sentinel fired his gun ! The Whigs poured into the 
Tories a volley so unexpected that they were panic-stricken. The 
band of Whigs continued to advance steadily. The watchword 
of the Whigs was "Washington." As the name of Washington 
was shouted from man to man, the Tories, thinking Washington 
was upon them, grew frantic. They fled in wild disorder. Most 
of them fell into a deep gorge, which is still pointed out in Eliza- 
bethtown as the "Tory Hole." 

When the engagement was ended day had dawned. There were 
17 Tories killed, among them Colonel Slingsby. Not a Whig was 
killed and but four wounded. The Whigs took what arms they 
could carry and returned to the other side of the river. 

William Dickson said of this battle: "This put an end to the 
disturbances in Bladen County." It was regarded at that time 
as a victory of great importance. It was of great significance to 
the settlers along the Cape Fear, as the Tories were subdued. 

Colonel Thomas Robeson, Jr., paid his troops out of his own 
private funds. He took notes from the soldiers with promise of 
repayment should the government ever reward their services. 
These notes amounted to $80,000, The soldiers, having received 
their pay, didn't push the matter. Colonel Robeson died soon 
after peace and no steps were taken to refund the amount to his 
family. Colonel Robeson exacted a promise from his children that 
no claim should ever be brought against the government. His 
wishes have been carried out. He married Mary Bartram, daugh- 
ter of Colonel William Bartram, brother of John Bartram, 

Many stories are told of the gracious, open-hearted hospitality 
dispensed at the home of Colonel Robeson, Captain Peter Robe- 



son lived opposite Colonel Robeson. An avenue was cut to give 
full view of both houses. When the family of Colonel Robeson 
entertained, a flag was raised to give notice and invite the 
brother's family over. Thus we see this princely son of the Cape 
Fear was gifted in battle, but had the power of the royal hand 
to dispense love and good cheer. 

Colonel Robeson died May 2, 1785. He is buried at Council*s 
Bluff, Bladen County. 

As fragrant as the Carolina pines is the memory of Colonel 
Thomas Robeson, Jr., of the Cape Fear. 

Elisabeth Janet Black. 


PEV. dr. JOHN ROBINSON was the founder 
f of the Fayetteville Presbyterian Church, under 
) its present organization, one hundred and seven 
J years ago. Besides occupying the pulpit of this 
I intelligent and rapidly growing congregation, his 
^ other duties, both as a minister and as a pastor, 
were constant and arduous, as he had under his charge the Presby- 
terians of the Rockfish section, extending nearly to the dividing 
line of Robeson County. 

Notwithstanding this strenuous ministerial life, with his hands, 
head and heart always full, he was one of the distinguished and 
successful educators of his day. In the masonic lodge building 
on the banks of Cross Creek, in which a commodious and well- 
equipped assembly school-room had been fitted up by the generos- 
ity of James Hogg, David Anderson, Robert Donaldson, Richard 
Cochran, Robinson Mumford and others. Dr. Robinson labored 
for many years in the work of fitting the young men of not only 
the Fayetteville and Cape Fear country, but of the whole State 
and other states, for the duties of business or professional life. 
From the walls of this academy went forth, to distinguished 
public service, to the honors and rewards of the council hall, the 
Bench, the Bar and the activities of commerce and manufactures, 
John D. Eccles, lawyer and legislator; Willie P. Mangum, United 
States senator and president of the Senate; W. R. King, minis- 


ter to France and vice-president in the administration of Frank- 
lin Pierce; John Owen, governor of the State; General James 
Owen, member of Congress from the Bladen district; Alexander 
Hamilton McRae, a patriot martyr in his country's cause, whose 
stately monument stands in the old Cross Creek Cemetery; 
Mallett, Hawley, etc. 

Dr. Robinson's assistant teacher was W. B. Meroncy, a man 
of fine attainments, an excellent linguist, with exceptional powers 
of imparting knowledge. He was especially an admirable elocu- 
tionist, and on Sunday was frequently invited to read a sermon 
to some congregation whose pastor was absent on that occasion. 
He succeeded Dr. Robinson as principal of the school, and was 
followed by W. L. Ferner, Andrew Flynn and Colin McRae. 

On one occasion, during recess, one of the smaller pupik of the 
school, playing near Cross Creek, which skirted the grounds, 
plumped heels over head into the water. At the outcry from the 
other boys, Meroney bounded out of the door, rushed to the 
bank, and dived head foremost after the boy. But he miscalcu- 
lated the difference between his six feet and the boy's three and 
a half or four. His head stuck fast in the mud at the bottom 
of the creek, while his long legs gyrated spasmodically above the 
surface, and it was harder to save the rescuer than it was the 

In the masonic building, and adjoining the school-room, was 
a small but completely equipped theater. There Meroney was in 
his glory, easily the chief among the stage-struck amateurs of dd 
Fayetteville, his favorite role being Julius Caesar, to whom Hard- 
ing, not unknown to fame, acted Brutus. On the boards of this 
little temple of Thespis, however, now and then appeared lights 
before whom Meroney's histrionic gifts paled: TumbuU, who 
was the friend and crony of the Scotch poet, Robert Bums ; Mrs. 
Barret and the beautiful Clara Fisher. Ordinarily, though, 
Meroney was the dramatic hero of the quaint, beautiful town on 
the Cape Fear ; and even such "grave and reverend seigneurs*' as 
John D. Eccles, after whom the handsome iron bridge on Green 
Street is named, did not disdain to woo the Thalian muse under his 


training, as well as William Barry Grove, the Federalist Con- 
gressman, in his hours of ease ; Isaac Hawley, Charles P. Mallett, 
John M. Wright, etc. 

Dr. Robinson was a man of dignified bearing and command- 
ing presence, of rare scholarship, and especially an erudite theo- 
logian, a powerful and orthodox preacher of the Word. He was 
regarded as the finest Bible scholar in the North Carolina Synod 
in his day. Born in what is now Cabarrus County, he was reared 
near Charlotte and educated there in part, completing his edu- 
cation at Mount Zion College, Winnsboro, S. C. He was licensed 
April 4, 1793, and directed to work in Duplin County, where he 
labored till 1800 and organized churches. He went to Fayette- 
ville in 1800, organized a classical school and served as pastor; 
went to the Poplar Tent congregation in Cabarrus County in 1801. 
Between that date and 1818 his time was occupied between 
Fayetteville and Poplar Tent in teaching and in preaching. After 
the latter date he returned to Poplar Tent and remained with that 
congregation till his death (which Foote says occurred on De- 
cember 15, 1843), having served that congregation, with various 
intervals of absence, for thirty-six years. He received the degree 
of doctor of divinity from the University of North Carolina in 
1829, and was for many years president of the board of trustees 
of Davidson College, N. C. While much interested in education 
in general, he wrote little and published only one sermon, a 
"Eulogy of Washington" (1800), yet the Rev. William Henry 
Foote says that traditions and reminiscences gathered from him 
led to the compilation of his own ** Sketches of North Carolina," 
one of the most valuable books ever published on any phase of 
the State's history. Dr. Robinson's wife was Mary Baldwin ; he 
married her April 9, 1795, and she died in 1836. 

The passing away of Dr. Robinson caused deep grief not only 
in his own congregation but throughout the whole community, 
and especially among his old students, who all dearly loved him. 
Together they prepared a memorial tablet in tribute to his vir- 
tues, which they were permitted to fix in the wall of the vesti- 
bule of the Presbyterian Church, where it still stands. I regret 


that I am unable to give the name of the author of the lines in- 
scribed. They form a classic, and should not go down to pos- 
terity anonymously, being little inferior to the epitaph to Albert 
Sydney Johnston, which has over and over gone the rounds of the 
press : 


By Grateful Survivors 

To Perpetuate the Memory 

of the 

Rev. John Robinson, D.D., 

For Five Years 

The Beloved Pastor of this Church 

Principal of an Academy Here. 

Born 8th of January, 1768; 

Licensed to Preach the Gospel 

April 4th, 1793; 

Ordained as a Minister of Christ 

April, 1795; 

Died December i6th, 1843, 

In the 76th Year of His Age. and 49th Year of His Ministry, 

Full of Years arid Usefulness. 
He Was: 
A polished gentleman, a finished scholar, an able instructor of youth, a 
genuine Christian, a faithful and affectionate pastor. In him were beauti- 
fully blended and happily united all those qualities of the mind and heirt 
which are naturally adapted to command respect, conciliate esteem* and 
beget pure and lasting affection." 

/. H. Myraver. 

,•■; .■,o-j*°' 

.••"'^.^o'* 1 


tinguished families of the State. To this parentage were bom 
ten children, the subject of this sketch being the third. 

The great gift of public speaking seems to have been an in- 
heritance from the father to Mr. Shepard, and it also descended 
to several of his brothers. 

Bom to affluence and social distinction, and one of a large 
household, he was afforded the highest advantages of education 
from the preparatory schools of New Bern. In due time he 
passed on to the University of North Carolina and there became 
distinguished for scholastic attainments. 

Politics ran high at that time and the war between the United 
States and Great Britain was then closing. The students were 
patriotic and espoused the cause of their country. One of the 
professors was an unnaturalized Englishman and expressed his 
opinions of the war with too much freedom for the student 
sentiment. He made himself odious to the students and they 
determined to curb him. To do this they selected Shepard, in 
private caucus, to make one of his speeches upon the subject of 
the war and a denunciation of the professor. He accepted the 
appointment. When his turn came to speak, he arose, and be- 
fore he had proceeded far it was found that he was indulging in 
some personal sarcasm about the professor. It elicited warm ap- 
plause from the students and an order from the faculty to sus- 
pend the speech. There was a violent uproar, the students ap- 
plauding and urging Shepard to proceed. He suspended for a 
few minutes and then amid cries to go on, resumed and finished 
his speech. At the close the students rushed to the platform and 
bore him out in triumph in their arms. It was a signal victory 
for the students. The campus rang with cheers and huzzas and 
Shepard was the lion of the hour. 

This act was the turning point of his life, the foundation stone 
of his greatness, the first step that he took in the ascent to that 
Temple which shines afar on the heights of fame. 

He now became famous throughout the State and perhaps at 
no period of his history was he prouder and more popular. But 
it caused him to leave the University and he soon after graduated 


at the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Shepard in his after 
life rarely spoke of this circumstance, but when he did regretted 
that he had not graduated at the University of North Carolina. 

Having completed his education, he returned to New Bern 
and began the study of law. Obtaining his license, he removed 
to the county of Camden, where he had large landed properties^ 
and commenced the practice of the law profession in that county. 
His success was phenomenal. It was a common remark that his 
legal opinions gave law to the county. 

After having established his success at the Bar in ( 
removed to Elizabeth City and made it his home ever ter, 
there the same success attended him. 

But his ambition ran in a larger c mel and a br 
He aspired to public life and the exci lent of p c 

Hon. Lemuel Sawyer, of Camden, repn 11 t ( 

gressional district of North Caroli for i y s. By 

mon assent, and without the interve of i< 

tion, Mr. Shepard was put in non tion as 1 sue 
election was an easy one. Fully equipped - t 
tered upon his office with full promise of ( i 1. He 

among the youngest members of Congress when he took t : h, 
but he soon became conspicuous in debate and distinguished for 
fearlessness, earnestness and ability. 

It was during the administration of General Jackson, a stormy 
period in which the United States Bank was the absorbing sub- 
ject of dispute, when he took his seat in Congress. He took the 
side of the bank and openly opposed the administration. Mr. 
Shepard's fame as a member of Congress will rest chiefly upon 
speeches on the bank question at that time. They will be found 
reported at length in the Congressional proceedings of that period. 

It was a war of the giants and Shepard was one of them. 
Clay, Calhoun, Webster and Mangum in the Senate, and George 
McDuffie and William B. Shepard in the House were the storm 
petrels of the occasion. In that debate Mr. Shepard was some- 
times referred to by the opponents of the bank as a kinsman of 
Nicholas Biddle, and his relation to the bank president was sug- 


gested as a motive of his opinions. But such a suggestion was 
groundless. He was a pure, incorrupt and incorruptible man 
and no suspicion has ever stained his statesmanship. 

Apart from this grave subject, he was thoroughly identified 
with every interest of his constituents ; he sympathized with their 
affairs and when his counsel was sought he readily rendered his 
service. He procured appropriations for the opening of Roanoke 
Inlet and devoted much of his congressional life to that subject. 
During his public life that was regarded as the great key to un- 
lock the golden treasures of the Albemarle. 

After a distinguished service of eight years, Mr. Shepard re- 
tired voluntarily from Congress with the full respect and appro- 
bation of his constituents. He returned to his home in Elizabeth 
City and was appointed president of the Branch State Bank. 

Mr. Shepard was twice married, first to Miss Charlotte 
Cazenove, the daughter of a wealthy banker of Alexandria, Va. 
This marriage took place in 1834 during his term in Congress. 
She lived about a year and died, leaving one daughter. His 
second marriage took place in 1843, with Miss Annie Daves Col- 
lins, an accomplished lady, and a recognized belle of the State. 
She was a daughter of Josiah Collins of Edenton, and Annie 
Daves of New Bern. Her grandfather, Josiah Collins, the elder. 
settled at Edenton, coming from England just before the Revolu- 
tion. Though never in public life, he was a man of great in- 
fluence, enjoying the high regard of that coterie of gentlemen 
who gave to Edenton its distinctive social reputation. He made 
a large fortune, and dying in 1819, bequeathed an honored name 
to his descendants. The first marriage of Mr. William B. Shepard 
is represented by Miss Gertrude Shepard, and the second by a son 
of the same name as his father, both now residents of Edenton. 

The son, the present William B. Shepard, has been married 
three times. His first wife was Miss Louise C. Harrison, of 
Alabama. She left two children, both of whom arc married. 
His second wife was Miss Pauline C. Cameron, a daughter of 
Hon. Paul C. Cameron, of Hillsboro. She left one daugii« 
ter, Annie, who became the wife of Dr. William A. Graham, of 


Durham. She dying, Mr. Shepard married Mildred, also a 
daughter of Mr. Paul C. Cameron, who left no issue. 

After Mr. Shepard retired from Congress in 1837, he several 
times represented the senatorial district in the State legislature 
and always with distinguished ability. The subject of slavery 
was then disturbing the public mind and the shadow of secession 
was casting its ominous cloud over the horizon. Mr. Shepard 
made a speech in the legislature at this time which attracted 
much attention. It was a forecast of the future by a seer. It 
took strong grounds for the constitutional rights of the states 
and showed plainly where he would have been had he lived till 
the cloudburst of war called our countrymen to arms. From our 
recollections of that great speech, Mr. Shepard lamented the 
existence of slavery but found in the color line an insurmountable 
difiiculty in its utter extirpation. It was a speech of great force, 
reviewed the history of slavery in every period of the world 
and showed that it had never been marked by such characteris- 
tics as ours. If it existed as in previous history it might be wiped 
out by a simple erasure and the freedmen would be absorbed in 
the general citizenship : but we could not change the'Ethiop's skin, 
and that would stand ever as an insurmountable barrier to the ex- 
tinction of the institution in this country. 

These prophetic words of the keen-eyed statesman were solved 
by the sword of war in the hands of fanatics. Had Mr. Shepard 
lived till a later day he would have seen that the sword of war 
was stronger than the pen of peace and he would have been 
among the sons of the South who were calling their country* 
men to arms. 

After his retirement from Congress, Mr. Shepard was fre- 
quently spoken of for the United States Senate. His national 
reputation, his long experience in public life and his growing 
popularity had turned public attention to him as the next senator 
from North Carolina. At the session of the legislature of 1844, 
of which he was a member, his friends determined that they 
would urge his election to the United States Senate. His op- 
ponent was George E. Badger, a formidable rival with a large 


following. The contest was a close one and Mr. Badger was 
elected. After the election, at the suggestion of his friends, 
Mr. Shepard delivered a speech in vindication of himself of great 
power, and it was remarked by those who heard it, "if that 
speech could have been made before the election he would have 
been the successful candidate." This may be considered the close 
of his life as a public functionary. He retired from public life 
and sought repose in the quiet pursuits of literature and the dis- 
charge of his duties as president of the bank. 

In knowledge of the English classics and profound study of 
the writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries he was per- 
haps the most scholarly man in North Carolina. Steele, Swift 
and Addison were at his finger tips. His "Address" delivered at 
the University of North Carolina attests his varied learning and 
has often been pronounced second only to that of Gaston. 

Probably the most difficult and troublesome role in which Mr. 
Shepard was called to bear a part in his strenuous public life 
was when General Harrison was nominated at Harrisburg for the 
Presidency in 1840. Mr. Shepard had served in Congress while 
General Harrison was in the Senate and he had observed him 
carefully. Like many distinguished men at that time, he did 
not regard him as a statesman qualified for the place. In the low 
language of the time, he looked upon him as an **old granny." 
The nomination took him by surprise and he openly expressed 
that surprise. As we remember, the Harrison tide soon became 
a storm and swept everything before it. It was a tornado that 
no man could withstand. Mr. Shepard, with the keen foresight 
of a practised politician, did what was next best — ^he fell in with 
the tide and "rode upon the whirlwind and directed the storm." 
At the warm solicitation of the friends of General Harrison, Mr. 
Shepard selected the good points of his character and entered the 
canvass. He spoke upon every platform in the district and was 
one of the most effective speakers in the campaign. He exposed 
the corruptions of Van Buren's administration and had more 
to do with making "Martin Van a used up man" than any other 
person in the canvass. 


As a public speaker Mr. Shepard had many characteristics that 
made him conspicuous and attractive. His voice was a bugle 
note with the softness of a clarion; he could command an audi- 
ence of great size and could be heard in the open air at a great 
distance. His audiences were always attentive ; he seldom enter- 
tained them with humorous passages. Sometimes a flash of wit, 
nattu-al and spontaneous, elicited the applause of his hearers, 
but his voice rose above the tumult as if unheeded by him. He 
was a fluent speaker and never paused for a word. His language 
was select and classical. It was not the effect of study, for he 
was a ready speaker and often spoke when unexpectedly called 
on. One circumstance occurs to us in illustration of this. After 
Mr. Shepard had retired from Congress, Samuel T. Sawyer, of 
Edenton, was a candidate for Congress in opposition to the party 
with which Mr. Shepard was identified. He had an appointment 
to speak at Camden Court House. The appointment was un- 
known to Mr. Shepard. Mr. Sawyer concluded his speech and 
did not expect a reply. Mr. Shepard was requested by his friends 
to reply. After a few moments of thought he went upon the plat- 
form and delivered a speech of an hour's length. It was a merci- 
less excoriation. We were present and never listened to a more 
complete destruction. The impression then made upon our youth- 
ful mind has never left it. Sawyer made his escape from the 
platform and left for parts unknown. 

Mr. Shepard was a delightful conversationalist when in the 
mood. He was generally taciturn, but when animated by some 
subject in which he was interested no man was more pleasant. 
His most interesting subject was his acquaintance with dis- 
tinguished men he had met in public life. We have listened to 
him with unabated interest for hours. He was a keen observer 
and his analysis of men w^s instructive and entertaining. Henry 
Qay was his ideal of a great statesman. He thought him the 
greatest orator in our history. We once heard him describe the 
speech of Mr. Clay on the removal of the deposits from the 
United States Bank; he said it was the masterpiece of our par- 
liamentary history. He always seemed proud of his friendship. 


Mr. Shepard was several times tendered a place on our judicial 
circuit, but he always declined it, declaring that his health could 
not endure the fatigue and exposure of the office. His health 
was never robust. 

In person he was erect and willowy, of medium height, and 
his weight probably never exceeded one hundred and fifty 
pounds — Lx)rd Chesterfield's ideal of a gentleman. 

When Mr. Shepard was in the quiet of private life he was a 
society favorite and extended a liberal hospitality to his friends 
and distinguished strangers. He then relaxed his habitual dig- 
nity and became a prince of good fellows. 

We recall with sadness the last time we ever met our friend. 
His health had become impaired and we called to inquire how 
he was. We found him pale, feeble and emaciated, but the old 
courtesy was still with him. The shadow of death was upon him 
and the pale messenger with the inverted torch was beckoning 
him away. He departed this life a few weeks after at his resi- 
dence in Elizabeth Cjty, June 20, 1852. His body was taken to 
Edenton, N. C, for burial, attended by a cortege of sorrow- 
ing friends. When three miles from Edenton a large cavalcade 
of horsemen, headed by Rev. Charles Parkman, assistant rector, 
in his clerical robes, met and escorted it to St. Paul's Church in 
that town, where after the burial service of the Church was per- 
formed the body was laid to rest by the side of his wife in the 
Collins plot in the churchyard. 

Thus passed away a great man and one of the most dis- 
tinguished sons of the Albemarle since the Revolutionary period. 
He has trod the "paths of glory" with proud step and dis- 
tinguished honor. 

"His life was gentle, 
And the elements so mixed in him 
That Nature might stand up 
And say to all the world, 
'This was a man !' " 

R. B. Creecy. 




iit-uui rat;K[>ATio*ni 
It L 



tered on the practice of his profession in Hertford County, and 
by his learning, attainments, manly characteristics and integrity 
of character quickly won the confidence of a large clientage and 
became prosperous in his profession. He associated himself with 
the leaders of the Whig Party, which took shape about the time 
that he entered upon the activities of life; and in 1840 he was 
active in support of the Harrison ticket and was prominent in the 
**Log Cabin Campaign." In that year he entered public life 
as a representative of Hertford County, in the House of Com- 
mons, but did not seek a re-election at that time. In 1848, how- 
ever, he was state senator from Hertford and was an active sup- 
porter of the great and progressive measures that made that 
legislature the most memorable of any in the history of the 
State prior to the civil war. At the same session he was elected 
solicitor of his judicial district for four years, and on the expira- 
tion of his term was reelected to the same position. As a prose- 
cuting attorney he was bold, fearless and efficient. The Bar of 
the iirst district at that time was unusually, able. Robert R. 
Heath, Moore, Kinney, Outlaw, Cherry, Bragg, Bailey were but 
representatives of a large number of lawyers who were of the 
first class in the Albemarle region, and with them Mr. Smith 
contested the palm and was first among his peers. In 1857 he 
was nominated by the Whigs for Congress against Dr. H. M. 
Shaw, a strong man, a fine campaigner and whose excellence 
as a citizen endeared him to his Democratic constituents. In 
this first contest, while he largely reduced the former Democratic 
majority, he failed at the polls. At the succeeding election, how- 
ever, he was elected to the State Senate and, also again running 
for Congress, he was now successful and defeated his former 
opponent, Dr. Shaw, by a safe majority. The campaign between 
them was very violent and bitter and at one time resulted in a 
personal conflict, each of the gentlemen being of great courage 
and high spirit. Taking a seat in Congress in December, 1859, 
he found that the control of that body was no longer with the 
Democrats, who had fallen into a minority, the Republicans and 
the Whigs together having the majority. John Sherman was the 


nominee of the Republicans for speaker, and Mr, Smith, although 
it was his first session, was so distinguished by his character and 
attainments that he was nominated by the southern Whigs for 
that position. There was a long and exciting contest for nearly 
two months, during which the house was not organized. Then 
some of the more moderate Republicans signified ilieir inten- 
tion to vote for Mr, Smith, and a majority of the Democrats 
transferred their votes from their nominee, Hon. 'iliomas S. 
Bocock of Virginia, to Mr. Smith, and he was about to be de- 
clared elected when E, Joy Morris of Pennsylvania, who had 
voted for him, changed his vote, and other Republicans following 
his lead the result was changed. The explanation of Ibis incident 
is highly honorable to Mr. Smith. He was a follower of Henry 
Clay and warmly advocated protection. It was on this account 
that Mr. Morris, who represented the protected interests of Penn- 
sylvania, and some of the other Republicans were drawn to bis 
support. But at the final moment Mr. Smith was asked to pledge 
himself to constitute the Committee on Ways and Means of high 
tariff men. While that would have doubtless been his action 
as speaker, yet he declined to make any pledge. He wotild en- 
ter into no bargain for the speakership. If on his record and 
his public advocacy of measures a majority of the members would 
support him, lie would gladly receive the honor at their hands; 
but he would make no pledge whatever. Rather than be drawn 
into a questionable transaction he would accept defeat and re- 
linquish the coveted prize. His conduct on that occasion well 
illustrates the basic principles of his entire life. No man was 
more spotless than he was in his career as a public man and as 
a private citizen. 

Later, Hon. William Pennington of New Jersey was elected 
speaker. Mr. Smith served through the exciting and harassing 
scenes of this Congress under the shadow of the great national 
convulsion then rapidly approaching and, remaining in his seat 
until the last, witnessed the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln 
on March 4, i86r. He was as true as steel to the welfare and 
fortunes of his people, and on the formation of the Confederate 


government he was in July, 1861, elected to the Provisional Con- 
gress of the Confederate states, and he continued to represent 
his district in the Confederate Congress, being a member of tbe 
first and second permanent Confederate congresses, and serving 
in that body until March 18, 1865, when it adjourned on the eve 
of the evacuation of Richmond and the fall and disappearance of 
the Confederate nationality. 

Mr. Smith's excellence as a public man, his high character and 
his zeal for the welfare of his people led to his election to the 
house of commons in the fall of 1865, ^^ the restoration of tbe 
State to the Union under President Johnson's proclamation. In 
that body he was one of the foremost in seeking intelligently to 
adjust society in North Carolina to the changed conditions. 
Dealing with the emancipated slaves as citizens entitled to the 
kindly consideration of sagacious statesmen, he was associated 
with others in conferring on them all the civil rights that could 
properly and safely at that time be allowed them. His sentiments 
before the beginning of open hostilities had been for the Union, 
and upon the failure of the Confederate cause he earnestly sought 
to adjust North Carolina in her position as an equal State in the 
American Union. He suppressed those feelings of bitterness 
which were natural in a warm southern heart, and in the interest 
of the welfare of his people would have acquiesced in every 
reasonable demand of the Federal government, but the degrada- 
tion which the malice and bitterness of the Republican leaders 
exacted was more than his manly character could bear. A dis- 
tinguished Federal leader of that time remarked to him : "Why, 
Mr. Smith, your place is with the Republican party, and not as an 
ally of the Democratic party." "Yes," replied Mr. Smith with 
warmth, ''that is the natural place of the southern Whigs, but 
you Republicans render it impossible." 

He gave his best services to the cause of the people of North 
Carolina in the years immediately succeeding the war, and 
ardently opposed the Reconstruction Act of the radical Cotigress. 
In 1868 he was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventioa 
that nominated Governor Seymour for the presidency. During 


the excited presidential campaign of 1868, the Republican judges 
who had been elevated to the Supreme Court Bench on the 
adoption of the new Constitution took such a part in political 
demonstrations as to call forth a solemn protest from the Bar 
against judicial interference in political matters, which cut so 
deeply that Chief Justice Pearson cited the venerable B. F. Moore 
and Governor Thomas Bragg before him as for contempt, and a 
great argument was held on the point at issue between the Bar 
and the court. In this argument Mr. Smith bore a leading part, 
and his eloquent presentation of the consistent support of the 
dignity and prerogatives of the judicial tribunals of the country 
by the distinguished and patriotic respondents resulted in a dis- 
charge of the rule on payment of cost ; but this episode led to the 
early modification of the powers of the court in matters of alleged 
contempt, stripping the court of an arbitrary exercise of its 
power in that behalf. 

In the spring of 1870 Mr. Smith changed his r 
folk, while, however, retaining his practice in the c s 
Carolina. The following winter Governor H 1 
for misdemeanors in office, growing out of his si n c 

writ of habeas corpus and the inauguration of what knt i 

as the Holden-Kirk war, and he employed Mr. ith among 
others to defend him before the Senate acting a court of 
impeachment and presided over by the chief ji ce. It was 
undoubtedly one of the greatest legal proceedings ever held in the 
states of the Union. Representing the people of the State were 
the distinguished Governor Graham and the able Governor Bragg 
and Judge Merrimon, and with these strong, earnest and powerful 
adversaries Mr. Smith had to cope. As fine as were the memo- 
rable arguments made by Governor Graham and Governor Bragg, 
it was the common opinion at that time, even among those who 
were most earnest in desiring the conviction of Governor Holden, 
that Mr. Smith's presentation of the defense was superior in 
excellence to the addresses made by his eminent antagonists. It 
was indeed a masterly effort ; and by its force he secured the 
acquittal of his client on some of the graver charges made against 


him, but the case made against the governor on other points was 
so clear that even some senators belonging to his own party were 
forced under their oaths to find him guilty, and he was deposed 
from office and rendered incapable of holding office again in 
North Carolina. 

After two years spent in Norfolk, Mr. Smith returned to North 
Carolina and located in Raleigh, succeeding Governor Bragg, who 
had recently died, as a partner of Hon. George V. Strong, and 
entered on a lucrative practice as a member of the firm of Smith 
& Strong. He had married in January, 1839, Miss Mary Olhria 
Wise, a daughter of William B. Wise, a merchant of Murfrees- 
boro, who bore him three sons — ^James Murdock, who died in 
1 85 1 at the age of eleven ; William W. Smith and Edward Cham- 
bers Smith, and on his removal to Raleigh his family became an 
appreciated addition to the society of that city. 

In 1874 Wake Forest College conferred on Mr. Smith the hon- 
orary degree of LL.D., to which he was eminently entitled by his 
fine attainments and unusual accomplishments. The next year 
the same degree was conferred on him by the University of North 
Carolina, and in 1881 by his alma mater, Yale University. 

On the 24th of June, 1874, it being the fortieth anniversary of 
his class, there was held a large meeting of the Yale alumni 
attended by many of the most distinguished characters in the 
United States, and Mr. Smith was received by them with such 
consideration as was most complimentary to him as a soutfacm 
man and an admired son of his alma mater. He presided over 
his class meeting on that occasion and at the general alunmi meet- 
ing was spokesman of his class. 

On locating in Raleigh, his eminence, his political experience, 
and devotion to the welfare of the people of his State led to his 
early selection as a member of the state Democratic committee, 
and he gave his best services to promoting the cause of that party 
whose success was so necessary to the happiness and prosperity 
.of the people of the State. 

Under the Federal law, Mr. Smith, having served in the United 
States Congress and also in the Confederate Congress, was under 


political disabilities. He and Hon. Burton Craige were the last 
of our public men to have their disabilities removed, being the 
only beneficiaries of the act of Congress of February, 1873. 

On the death of Chief Justice Pearson, Governor Vance on 
January 12, 1878, tendered to Mr. Smith the office of chief jus- 
tice of the Supreme Court. Notwithstanding he had appeared as 
counsel in the defense of Governor Holden, the spirit of fairness 
of the people was such that it did not weigh against him, and his 
appointment to this high office gave general satisfaction. To a 
legal mind of a high order, enriched by wide and varied learning, 
the fruit of unremitting study, he added the rare faculty of 
quickly seizing on the chief points of a case and the power of 
eliminating from every problem elements that were not material 
to a just and proper decision. As a writer he was noted for the 
purity of his style and the strength of his argumentation, and his 
opinions are clear and conclusive. 

He was a pleasant and courteous gentleman, i i 
versation, and possessing such a fund of inf 1 

had such large experience he never failed 
whom he conversed. 

Judge Smith was a consistent member of the Presbyterian 
church, and was held in high esteem in the councils of that 
denomination. He had been fortunate in his financial matters and 
had amassed enough to be easy in his circumstances ; he had played 
a distinguished part in the public affairs of the State and country ; 
he had attained a position of eminence at the Bar and he had 
adorned, with high renown, the honorable position of chief jus- 
tice of his native State. His life had in every point of view been 
one of large success. He enjoyed the respect and esteem which 
is ever accorded to superior talents and unusual excellence of 
character, for his life had been manly, courageous, spotless and 
without a blemish. 

At length, while still presiding over the Supreme Bench of the 
State, he passed away on November 14 1889, lamented by the 
entire people. 

S. A. Ashe. 


JHE subject of this sketch, one of the best known 
i of the lawyers, business men, and men interested 
' in public affairs at the state capital, was bom 
1 Murfreesboro, Hertford County, on the 21st 
? day of August, 1857, Mr. Smith is sprung from 
the earliest American parentage. He is de- 
^nded from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins. His father was 
the Hon. William N. H. Smith, while his mother, Mary Olivia 
Wise, was of a distinguished North Carolina family. Judge 
Smith, his father, was one of the most eminent men who have 
adorned the annals of the State. He was famed for his integrity 
of character, his industry and love of justice, while his walk in 
life was blameless, and he ever manifested an absolute trust in 
the goodness of the Creator. Highly esteemed as a lawyer and a 
gentleman, he filled successively with credit and honor the pon- 
tions of state legislator, member of the United States and Gxt- 
federate Congresses, solicitor, and chief justice of the Supnat 
Court. In contact with such an admirable parent, the son devel- 
oped into a man of sterling excellence. 

In the early years of his life. Chambers Smith was at his 
father's home in the village of Hertford, and then he became a 
student at W. R. Gait's School, at Norfolk, at Lovejoy's Academy, 
and Bingham's School, in North Carolina. Being well prepared, 
in 1877 he matriculated at Davidson College, graduattng there in 


1881. He inherited something of his father's power as a speaker, 
and took the debater's medal ; while at the general convention of 
the Kappa Alpha Frateniity held at Atlanta in 1881, he success- 
fully carried off the prize for the best essay written by any mem- 
ber of that fraternity, over twenty-five competitors representing 
southern colleges. 

Having the purpose to study law, he entered on 1 
studies in 1882, at the University of North C 
late Dr. Manning ; and then finished the course t \ 
of Virginia under Professor Minor. 

Admitted to practice in October, 1883, 
with Hon. Thomas C. Fuller and George H. i 
years continued with them, attending en ly 
preme Court practice of this prominent firm, 
tended throughout many counties of t State, 
the practice alone, and devoted hii If cor 1 

ance law, meeting with marked success i 
has served as the general attorney in N h Car i : 
large insurance companies, and for se^ c m 
them the North Carolina Car Company, t Can i 

Mills, and the Caraleigh Phosphate and Fertilizer W :s. 1 
deed his connection with these companies has been close. A la 
stockholder, he has served not merely as a director on the b a, 
but as a member of the executive committee, having particular 
charge of the details of the management. In all these positions, 
Mr. Smith has given many evidences of his ability, capacity and 
practical judgment. As a business man, he enjoys the reputation 
of being clear-sighted, quick to act, and a good manager. In par- 
ticular it may be said that no more prosperous business has been 
developed in North Carolina than that of the Caraleigh Phosphate 
and Fertilizer Works, in which Mr. Smith has been an active fac- 
tor since its inception. 

The same activity and intellectual capacity which Mr. Smith 
has displayed in business affairs has been manifested in his politi- 
cal action. In 1888 he became a member of the board of alder- 
men of the city of Raleigh, and at once busied himself with the 


greater matters claiming the attention of the city fathers. He 
was progressive, but yet cautious in advocating changes. Perhaps 
the most salutary of the measures he was instrumental in putting 
into operation was the present fire alarm system of the city, and 
securing that high efficiency of the fire department which has 
placed Raleigh in the front rank of all the towns of the Union in 
that respect. 

Having entered into politics, he was that same year chosen 
chairman of the county Democratic executive committee, and in 
this position he again gave evidence of his fine capacity to manage 
public affairs. At the preceding election, the Democratic party 
had suffered a great defeat, there being an adverse majority of 
seventeen hundred against it in the county; but so skillfully did 
Mr. Smith direct affairs that when the election was held, half of 
the Democratic ticket was successful. This result, so gratifying 
to his party friends, was attributed largely to the personal efforts 
of the chairman. 

The same year he was chosen by the state convention as a 
delegate to the National Democratic Convention held at St 
Louis, and his personality gained for him the distinction of being 
accorded the chairmanship of the committee on rules. In 1890 
his reputation was so firmly established, that although less than 
thirty-three years of age, he was unanimously elected chairman 
of the State Democratic Executive Committee, and had charge 
of the campaign that year when the point at issue was the reelec- 
tion of Governor Vance to the United States Senate. This was 
one of the most critical campaigns in the history of the State, 
and its management required unusual tact and ability. That 
astute and practiced politician. Senator Ransom, paid a high 
tribute to Mr. Smith, saying that he had never seen finer political 
work in his life than was done by the chairman in that campaign. 
At the opening of the next campaign, Mr. Smith was reelected 
chairman of the State Committee, but circumstances compelled 
him to relinquish that important position. The state convention, 
however, chose him as a delegate from the State at large to the 
National Democratic Convention held at Chicago. At that time 


Mr. Geveland was not acceptable to the great mass of the North 
Carolina Democrats. Whatever was thought of his personal 
purity and the vigor of his previous administration and his devo- 
tion to some of the Democratic tenets, Mr, Cleveland's position 
was so far at variance with the prevailing thought of the southern 
Democrats on financial matters, that his nomination was not de- 
sired by the people of North Carolina. In the National Conven- 
tion, Mr. Smith vigorously opposed the nomination of Mr. Cleve- 
land. But after his nomination, Mr. Smith earnestly and effec- 
tively urged his election, and was Instrumental in securing for 
him North Carolina's electoral votes. Mr, Smith's judgment in 
the matter was justified by the result. Unhappily at that period 
many of the people of North Carolina followed the leadership 
of designing demagogues, who having obtained control of the 
Farmers' Alliance, diverted that worthy organization from its 
proper purpose into political channels, making it the stepping- 
stone to their accession to power. The controlling tlement in the 
Democratic party in North Carolina had always been the farmers, 
representing the agricultural interests of the State. These astute 
demagogues began earlier than 1890 to wield the power of this 
organization to promote their designs, and gradually acquired 
control of (he Democratic majority in the legislature, and largely 
governed the State. 

As the election of 1892 approached, the National People's party 
was formed, and these leaders proposed to control the Demo- 
cratic State Convention and send delegates from that convention 
to the National Convention of the People's party to be held at 
Omaha. Such was the avowed purpose. The line between the 
Democratic party and this new party had not been drawn, and 
many of those who proposed to support the presidential nominees 
to be chosen at Omaha claimed to be Democrats and sought to 
participate in the Democratic county meetings. Mr. Smith as 
chairman of tlie Democratic organization, while not desiring to 
drive off any from tlie Democratic party, apprehended that that 
element would control the Democratic convention. To prevent 
that result, he gave directions to the county chairmen, and in par- 


ticular addressed a letter, that was published, to Mr. J. C. EUing- 
ton, of Johnston, defining the attitude of the Democratic organi- 
zation to those Democrats of Populistic affiliations. Chairman 
Smith managed this delicate matter with great address. When 
the convention met, Marion Butler, the Populist leader, and his 
associates claimed that they lacked only seventeen votes of om- 
trolling the convention and sending delegates from it to Omaha. 
Defeated in this purpose, they withdrew from the Democratic 
party at that time. 

Mr. Smith had been brought forward by his friends for the 
position of attorney-general, but Captain Octavius Coke had 
lately been appointed secretary of state, and was entitled to that 
nomination, while Mr. Donald W. Bain was similarly entitled to a 
renomination for the office of state treasurer, both of these gen- 
tlemen being from Raleigh; and a majority of the convention 
reluctantly came to the conclusion that a third nomination should 
not be made from that city ; but there were many ballots before 
Mr. Smith's friends would consent to yield, and he probably 
would have been nominated had he not been opposed by the 
element controlled by the Populist leaders. This opposition he 
had expected; indeed when he sought to draw the line by his 
Ellington letter, he knew that the effect would probably be to 
defeat his nomination by the convention, but he preferred to 
make the personal sacrifice rather than falter in his duty. 

The withdrawal of the Populist element from the Democrat 
party in 1892 put the Democrats in the minority in the State, 
and it was some years before they regained political supremacy 
in state affairs; but freed from the dominion of the Populist 
leaders, the Democratic party became more responsive to senti- 
ments entertained by a better element of citizenship, and later, 
when it regained power, it put into operation principles and 
policies more consonant with the best interests of the State. 
During all that period Mr. Smith exerted a wise and salutary 
influence in preventing the defection of many Democrats, who 
would otherwise have followed their leaders into the Poptilist 
party, and in bringing others back into the Democratic fold. 


At the election in 1894, Mr. Smith was unanimously nominated 
for the state senate by the Democrats of Wake County. There 
was no expectation of success, for the Populist and Republicans 
came together in a fusion that year, although diametrically op- 
posed on all the great issues of the campaign. As a result, but 
few Democrats were elected throughout the State, and Mr. 
Smith was, like all others, submerged in the tidal wave. 

Mr. Smith's accomplishments, extensive information, fine 
address and high character admirably qualify him to discharge 
the duties of a representative in Congress, and at different times 
his friends have desired to confer on him that mark of their 
esteem; indeed, in the congressional convention which was held 
in 1896, he was the choice of the overwhelming majority of the 
members, and would have been nominated, but at that particular 
crisis it was deemed expedient to make no nomination, allowing 
an independent candidate to contest the field with the Populists 
and Republicans. 

From this brief review, it will be seen that Mr. Smith has 
been a very useful public man in shaping public affairs in the 
Commonwealth ; a man of decided convictions, he has exerted an 
influence that has been salutary and beneficial, and has largely 
conserved the best interests of the Democratic party and of the 

His last notable service to his party was as a delegate to the 
Democratic National Convention in 1904, where he represented 
the State on the committees on platform, and he still feels greatly 
interested in the success of his party, hoping to be instrumental 
in putting into operation those policies which he believes will 
promote the welfare of his fellow-citizens. 

For ten years, from 1886 to 1896, Mr. Smith was a member 
of the State Board of Internal Improvements, and then became 
the State's proxy in the North Carolina Railroad, and soon there- 
after a. state's director in that company, and for ten years he 
served as a member of the finance committee. 

As a citizen and business man, Mr. Smith has always been 
active, although prudent and conservative. In addition to the 


corporations heretofore mentioned, he has been director and 
vice-president of the North Carolina Home Insurance and a 
director and vice-president of the King Drug Company, and 
director in the Farmers' Cotton Oil Company; and generally it 
may be said that he has 'been very successful in his enterprises. 

On the I2th of January, 1892, Mr. Smith was happily married 
to Miss Annie Badger Faison, a granddaughter of Judge Badger; 
and to them have been born six children, all of whom are living. 

Like his illustrious father, Mr. Smith is a man of decided 
intellectuality, with an acute and discriminating mind, and be 
reads thoughtful books and keeps well abreast with the progress 
of events. Social in his disposition, he entertains with hospitality 
at his home, and is an agreeable companion in society, his wit 
and fancy imparting a charm to conversation, which is brightened 
by his unfailing humor and kindliness. For six years he has 
been knight commander, the highest office of the order, of the 
Kappa Alpha Fraternity, elected at Richmond in 1901 and re- 
elected in 1903, 1905, and again in 1907, and his associates, appre- 
ciating his social worth, accomplishments and character, are 
pleased to honor him. 5". A, Ashe. 


1765. His wife, Sarah Montfort, was a sister of Colonel Joseph 
Montfort, of Halifax, grand master of Masons, of whom a 
sketch has been given in the sixth volume of the present work. 
By his marriage with Miss Montfort, David Stokes had a number 
of children, including Judge John Stokes, to whom our narrative 
will now be confined. 

John Stokes was born on March 20, 1756, and his early years 
were probably spent in Virginia. When the war of the Revo- 
lution came on, he was commissioned ensign in the Sixth Vir- 
ginia Continental regiment on February 16, 1776; was promoted 
second lieutenant in July of the same year, and a few months 
later, December 28, 1776, became first lieutenant. On Febru- 
ary 20, 1778, he rose to the rank of captain, and was transferred 
from the Sixth to the Second regiment of Virginia Continentak 
on September 14, 1778, serving throughout the remainder of the 
war until disabled and captured. 

We are not advised of the various battles in which Captain 
Stokes participated or the territory in which his command 
operated. In the early part of 1776 he was stationed at AVillianis- 
burg, and served on quite a number of courts martial wbfle the 
Virginia troops were there encamped. The active career of Cap- 
tain Stokes came to an end on May 29, 1780. He was then in 
South Carolina under the command of Colonel Abraham Buford, 
who headed a Virginia detachment consisting of three hundred 
and eighty Continental infantry, a small body of cavalry from 
Colonel William Washington's Legion and two field pieces (six 
pounders). This detachment was marching to the relief of 
Charleston; but upon hearing that that seaport had surrendered 
on May 12th, Buford determined to retreat. He had left Cam- 
den, and was moving toward Charlotte, when a superior force of 
Tarleton's cavalry took him in the Waxhaw settlement southward 
of the boundary between the Carolinas. Upon Tarleton's demand 
for Buford's surrender, the latter replied: **I reject your pro- 
posal, and shall defend myself to the last extremity." The re- 
sult was a disastrous defeat for the Americans, many of whom 
were slaughtered after resistance had ceased. Lamb, an English 
historian, remarks : "The king's troops were entitled to great com- 


mendation for their activity and ardour on this occasion, but 
the virtue of humanity was totally forgot." 

Many of the wounded Americans were placed in a nearby 
meeting house and there nursed by a number of women in the 
neighborhood, including the mother of Andrew Jackson. The 
biographer of Jackson. Mr. Parton, says : "The men were dread- 
fully mangled. Some had received as many as thirteen wounds, 
and none less than three. For many days Andrew and his brother 
assisted their mother in waiting upon the sick men — Andrew, 
more in rage than pity, though pitiful by nature, burning to 
avenge their wounds and his brother's death." Though not killed 
in battle, Jackson's brother (one of Davie's troopers) had died 
in the army not long before the fight at Waxhaw. 

It was in the above fight at Waxhaw that Captain Stokes was 
so badly wounded in the right hand as to necessitate its amputa- 
tion. Tradition says that he was attacked by a brutal Tory after 
surrendering; and, no longer having his sword, his hand was 
raised to ward off the blow, yet the keen sabre entered between 
his fingers, splitting through the hand and between the bones of 
his arm almost to the elbow. This made amputation necessary, 
and either at that time or later he was a prisoner of war. In 
the "Calendar of Virginia State Papers" (IV, 638) it appears 
that he was not exchanged until May i, 1783, about the end of 
the war. 

It is probable that Captain Stokes had lived in Halifax Coun- 
ty, N. C., before the Revolution. He was the first cousin of the 
wives of Willie Jones and Colonel Ashe, who resided in Halifax. 
After the war he came back to the State, but made his home in 
some of the more westerly counties. First he located in Mont- 
gomery and was State senator from that county in the years 1786 
and 1787. Later he removed to the town of Salisbury, in Rowan 
County, and was Rowan's representative in the North Carolina 
house of commons in 1789; also in the state convention at 
Fayetteville in that year which adopted the Constitution of the 
United States. While practicing at Salisbury, Captain Stokes 
became instructor of a not very promising young aspirant for 
legal honors by the name of Andrew Jackson, whose love of cock- 


fighting and horse-racing was then more pronounced than his 
love for study. In his biography of Jackson, Mr. Parton sug- 
gests that Stokes, when wounded at Waxhaw, may have been one 
of those soldiers nursed back to life by Jackson's family. Jack- 
son began the study of the law under Spruce Macay, and it was 
by his advice that he later sought instruction from Stokes. In 
Buell's biography of Jackson it is stated that Macay advised the 
young student to seek instruction in the office of Captain Stokes 
because "the law library of the latter exceeded any other in that 
region in reports of English decisions and in colonial statutes, 
which still formed the basis of American practice." Buell also 
remarks: "Colonel Stokes was not then an active practitioner, 
and, in fact, lived out of town on a magnificent plantation, said 
to have been the best in Rowan County." 

It is not likely that Captain Stokes retired from practice till 
he went on the Bench. It is said that Stokes had his amputated 
hand replaced by a silver cup or "fist," fitted over the end of 
his arm, and would sometimes bring this down with a ringing 
sound on the table on which his papers were spread when argu- 
mg before a jury. 

Shortly after North Carolina entered the Federal Union in 
1789, President Washington appointed Captain Stokes to the 
office of United States judge for the district of North Carolina. 

Judge Stokes was a Mason and no doubt a member of Old 
Cone Lodge, No. 9, of Salisbury. He was probably made a 
Mason in Royal White Hart Lodge, at Halifax, to which his 
father, David Stokes, and his uncle, Provincial Grand Master 
Montfort, had belonged. Governor Montfort Stokes, a younger 
brother of Judge Stokes, belonged to Old Cone Lodge, and was 
deputy grand master of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina from 
December 12, 1802, till December 16, 1808. 

Judge Stokes did not long live to enjoy the honors of the 
Federal Bench, for he died on Tuesday, October 12, 1790, at 
Fayetteville, to which place he had gone after holding his first 
court at New Bern. In its issue of October i8th following, the 
North Carolina Chronicle or Fayetteville Gasette said : 


"On Tuesday last died in this city the Hon. John Stokes, Esq., judge of 
the district court of the United States for the State of North Carolina, of 
a fever, with which he was attacked on his way from New Bern to this 
place, where he had been to hold the first Federal court. 

"The life of this Ben'Jeman, from a very early period, had been devoted 
to the service of his country; and so conspicuous have been his merits in 
every station which he filled that in estimating them it is difficult to decide 
whether as a soldier, a judge, a legislator, or a lawyer he was mo^t worthy 
of admiration. As the first, he distinguished himself by his bravery and 
humanity in several engagements during the late war. At Blewfort's 
[Btiford's] defeat in South Carolina he lost his right hand, and his whole 
body was so covered with wounds that his recovery was for a long time 
despaired of. He was animated with the love of liberty — he fought to 
avenge the wrongs of his country — and many of his fellow -soldiers who 
fought by his side are now alive to testify that the warmth of his benevO' 
lence softened many of the horrors of war. As a judge he possessed the 
most unblemished integrity; his decisions were wise and impartial. His 
exertions as a legislator are well known to have been directed to the good 
of bis country in preserving inviolate the Constitution and treating with 
justifiable asperity any attempt made to infringe it In his profession he 
was prompt to vindicate the rights of the poor and oppressed, in doing 
which his firmness and perseverance were no less remarkable than his 
ability. The death of such a man, it is natural to suppose, produced the 
most heartfelt sympathy among his fellow-citizens. All seemed to lament 
his lo's; all appeared to vie with each other in paying respect to the 
memory of a man whose life had been employed in their service. 

"His remains were attended to the grave on Wednesday evening by 
Phcenix Lodge of Ancient Freemasons, and interred with the usual 

In the same newspaper, in its issue of November 8, 1790, ap- 
peared an "Elegy on the death of the Hon. John Stokes, 
Esquire, late judge of the District Court of North Carolina," by 
"a young gentleman, student of physic, at Salisbury." These 
lines were as follows: 

"My infant Muse, awakel awakel 
The torpid bands of slumber break. 

And plume your light-fledged wing; 
On pinions soft essay to fly 
Through humbler regions of the sky, 

A mournful theme to sing. 


"Alas for Stokes I the good, the great 1 
Who poised the balance of the State^ 

His noble spirit's flown; 
To brighter worlds has winged its way. 
Where mildly beams eternal day 

And bliss below unknown. 

"What Muse can equal numbers find 
To paint the virtues of his mind. 

In etiquette complete? 
The warrior brave, the statesman true, 
The counsel weighty, fair and true. 
The patriot good and great 

"When Albion's prince began to pour 
Embattled legions on our shore. 

In freedom's cause he rose ; 
His conquering sword with zeal he drew, 
Beams from the blade as lightning flew. 

And, scathing, stunned his foes. 


Like Nisus, famed in Virgil's page. 
He braved the battle's fiercest rage. 

Through counter-files he broke; 
The foe, smit by his valor warm. 
Fled, trembling from his nervous arm. 

Or fell beneath his stroke. 

"When, at the mighty Jove's command. 
Peace visited our carnaged land 

And quenched the hostile flame, 
Stokes, from ensanguined fields of war, 
Stood right's great champion at the bar. 

And drew untarnished fame. 

"In Washington's discerning eye 
His merit shone so bright, so high. 

He gave to him the trust 
To poise the scales of justice fair, 
Issues of great import to hear, 

And give decisions just 


"When gods beheld him at his court 
With high eclat himself deport, 

They called such worth away 
To bear some weightier trust above, 
Within some ampler sphere to move, 

And straight did he obey. 

"Perpetual honors, Stokes, be thine ! 
Bright may thy name eternal shine 

In records fair of fame! 
To beam like thee in merit high 
May patriot youths aspiring sigh, 

And drink thy nobler flame.' 


This elegy was signed "Philander." It is probable that the 
identity of its author will never be known. The stirring spirit 
voiced in its lines is not altogether unlike some of Scott's poems 
— notably *'Marmion" — ^but it could not have been an imitation 
of that poet, as Scott wrote at a later date than 1790. 

Judge Stokes married Elizabeth Pearson, daughter of Captain 
Richmond Pearson of the Revolution, and a half-sister of Chief 
Justice Richmond M. Pearson. By this marriage he left descend- 

Stokes County, created in 1789, was so called in honor of the 
heroic patriot whose life has been portrayed in this sketch. 

Marshall DeLancey Haywood. 


• l 

I ; 

4 t 

f I I 

I t 
t I 

< I ; 


graduating in 1848. While bright and endowed with a strong 
and capable mind he was not a hard student and did not enter 
into competition for the scholastic honors of his class; but he 
was very popular among the student body and the friendships 
then formed lasted all through life. Among his college mates 
were Johnston Pettigrew, Matt. W. Ransom, E. Burke Hay- 
wood, Victor C. Barringer, Seaton Gales and others distinguished 
in after life, for whom Major Tucker always treasured a warm 
regard. Not desiring a professional career, after graduating he 
became a clerk in the store of his father, who two years earlier 
had associated his son William with him imder the name of 
R. Tucker & Son, and under that style the business was continued 
until the death of Mr. Ruffin Tucker, in 1851. 

The business by that time had become large and important, 
and the sons were so welHrained that it was then continued by 
all three brothers, the style being W. H. & R. S. Tucker, Dr. 
Tucker being a silent partner. For ten years the firm greatly 
prospered, and the enterprising spirit of the fun-loving student 
at the University manifested itself in extending the business of 
the firm, to the success of which his personal (nialitics and fine 
characteristics aided materially. As a man and citizen he was 
not only useful and esteemed, but his popularity was great, and 
he had the faculty of interesting his friends in an unusual degree. 
The elder brother was exceedingly gifted as a business man and 
was thoroughly conversant with the needs of the community 
and the course of trade, and Major Tucker in association with 
him speedily developed into an all-round business man with but 
few superiors. 

On the breaking out of the war his reputation for good judg- 
ment and energy led Governor Ellis to desire to utilize his fine 
practical business management for the advantage of the State; 
and as the highest business qualifications were requisite at the 
start to inaugurate measures for the sustenance and location and 
comfort of the troops that were being concentrated rapidly in 
the vicinity of Raleigh, the governor requested Major Tucker to 
take charge of those matters as quartermaster and commissary 


for the post of Raleigh. The duties of the position were oner- 
ous and exacting, but Major Tucker was equal to their efficient 
discharge, and regiment after regiment was cared for in a man- 
ner to receive the highest commendation. 

But Major Tucker was too enterprising to desire to remain 
in that position after the pressure was somewhat lessened and 
the departments had been well organized. Resigning in the fall 
of 1861, he speedily raised a cavalry company known as the 
*'Wake Rangers," in which there were eight commissioned offi- 
cers, eleven non-commissioned officers and eighty-eight privates; 
and his commission as captain was issued to him on February 18, 
1862. His field of service was in the eastern part of the State, 
where he aided in holding in check the Federals who, after seiz- 
ing Roanoke Island on February 8, 1862, took possession of the 
important towns within reach of their gunboats and threatened 
all of the eastern counties. As soon as his company was organ- 
ized, Captain Tucker was ordered to protect the Weldon bridge, 
then about to be attacked, and after the danger to that point had 
passed, he picketed the Tar River from Greenville to the vicinity 
of Washington. His services all that summer were important 
and his duties arduous. The Federal forces having occupied 
Washington, early in September Adjutant General J. G. Martin 
and Governor Clark planned an expedition to recover possession 
of that town. For this purpose there was organized a force un- 
der the command of Colonel Pool, composed of the Seventeenth 
regiment and the cavalry companies of Captains Walker, Booth 
and Tucker. Arriving within five miles of the town after night- 
fall, at early dawn the forward movement began, Captain Tucker 
leading the advance. The enemy was taken by surprise. Cap- 
tain Tucker pressing forward rapidly drove the Federal outposts 
in and assaulted the town independently ; the other cavalry com- 
panies, however, hastened to his support, being under the com- 
mand of the gallant Booth, who received a wound that subse- 
quently caused his death. 

The historian of that affair in the "Regimental Histories'* 


'Captain Tucker's command performed many difficult and hazardous 
feats. They had started at early morning, the gallant captain at the head, 
and again and again they routed and dispersed the enemy, only to meet 
additional parties stationed to repel their advance. 'Charge!' was the re- 
peated order, which was so successfully executed that the loss was slight; 
Bugler Winborne and a private near the head of the command, having 
been dismounted, were, however, captured by the enemy. The enemy was 
driven out of the town in this brilliant engagement, but the heavy artillery 
of the gunboats completely commanded the situation, and, although the 
Confederates were in possession of the town and held their position for 
several hours, it was considered expedient to withdraw, as the heavy fire 
of the gunboats threatened to destroy the town and no further advantage 
could be gained." 

Captain Tucker's conduct in this affair was in the highest de- 
gree creditable to his skill, dash and personal bravery and gained 
him deserved laurels. Shortly after this brilliant exploit, when 
Major Daniel G. Fowle was appointed adjutant general of the 
State, Major Tucker was appointed assistant adjutant general to 
aid him, and upon General Fowle's resignation he continued in 
the same position with General R. C. Gatlin, his fine business 
fjualifications rendering him very efficient and useful; but in 
October, 1863, ^^ resigned and was succeeded by Major W. A. 
Graham. On the meeting of the legislature in 1864, he was 
elected chief clerk of the house of commons and satisfactorily 
performed the duties of that position. 

When hostilities had ceased Major Tucker realized the changed 
conditions, and together with his brother at once sought to re- 
establish the extensive business their firm had enjoyed before the 
war. The capacity of the two brothers now displayed itself in 
a remarkable degree, and leaving built a much handsomer and 
more commodious structure on the east side of Fayetteville 
Street, they occupied it in 1866 and entered on a larger career as 
successful merchants. For many years their establishment 
was the leading dry-goods house in the State, and the superior 
talents of Major Tucker and his brother found an ample 
field in conducting their magnificent business. To their emi- 
nent success each contributed in equal degree. Both excelled as 


business men, and as years passed, fortune smiled on their 

Their enterprise displayed itself in many different ways. They 
gave to the Raleigh public the first hall ever erected in the city 
for amusements or entertainments; but eventually the demands 
of their extensive business required that the hall should be incor- 
porated into their store, of which it still forms a part. 

Chief among Major Tucker's characteristics was his untiring 
application to his business. No man was more industrious or 
more persistent in accomplishing whatever he undertook. In 
every affair he became master of each minute detail and his judg- 
ment was never at fault. He was bold in his conceptions and 
energetic and determined in carrying into execution his plans; 
but he was careful in building on a sure foundation. His repu- 
tation as a practical business man became very extended, for his 
brilliant success showed him to be a man of unusual merit in 
the practical concerns of life. 

His competency and efficiency led to his employment in many 
matters outside of his mercantile affairs. For a long period, em- 
bracing the years of the war, he was a director of the North 
Carolina Railroad Company; and after the war having a large 
interest in the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad he became a manag- 
ing director of that company and exercised a great influence in 
its affairs ; and having invested in the Atlantic and North Caro- 
lina Railroad, of which he was indeed the largest private stock- 
holder, he likewise was much interested in directing and manag- 
ing the concerns of that cgmpany. 

He was also one of the promoters of the organization of the 
Raleigh National Bank, the first bank chartered at Raleigh after 
the war, and for many years he was a director and was very 
efficient in his work in connection 'with that institution ; but later 
he sold his interest in that bank and bought what was substan- 
tially a controlling interest in the National Bank of New Bern, 
which, however, he subsequently disposed of. 

So largely interested in mercantile business he yet had a dis- 
position to agriculture, and successfully operated a valuable planta- 


tion in Pitt County and also developed one of the finest farms 
in the vicinity of Raleigh, which by his system of cultivation he 
brought up to a high state of fertility and productiveness. He 
took as much pleasure in making more than a bale of cotton to 
the acre as in managing the affairs of a railroad, and found as 
much gratification in his fine hay and his beautiful herds of cattle 
and in his rutabaga turnips as in conducting successfully the 
extensive dealings of his store. Always engrossed with his own 
private affairs he still manifested an interest in inatters of public 
concern, and was ever among the most progressive men of his 
community. But he never sought political office. A political life 
would have been entirely distasteful to him. For more than 
thirty years he was a director of the Institution for the Deaf, 
Dumb and the Blind at Raleigh and for a long period he was 
president of the board controlling its affairs. He took a just 
pride in his work connected with its management and his ser- 
vices were of inestimable value to the State and to the thousands 
of unfortunate children who during his administration were in- 
mates of that charitable institution. 

Having invested largely in city property he naturally sought to 
promote the growth of the city by introducing all necessary im- 
provements; and in particular he was active in forming the 
Chamber of Commerce, in which all the business men of the city 
were associated, with the purpose of encouraging new enterprises. 
On its establishment in 1887 he became the first president of the 
chamber, and he worked industriously to broaden the foundations 
of the prosperity of the city. Indeed lie stood without a com- 
petitor as the foremost of the business men of the community, 
being esteemed for his sagacity, his enterprise, his good judgment, 
no less than because he was the wealthiest of all the citizens. 
His kindliness of disposition, his pleasantry and agreeable man- 
ner in dealing with both matters and men enhanced his popularity 
and drew to him a larger share of the good will and esteem of 
his fellow-citizens. 

Early in life Major Tucker became a member of the Protestant 
Episcopal church and was always attentive to his religious duties. 


and for more than twenty years he was an active member of the 
vestry of Christ Church and habitually attended every meeting of 
that body, and his good judgment about the practical affairs of 
the parish made him one of the most important and influential 
members of the vestry. 

In 1882, Mr. W. H. H. Tucker died, and the next year Major 
Tucker discontinued his mercantile business, after a most suc- 
cessful career, and devoted his attention exclusively to the man- 
agement of his estate. 

It was his happy fortune to have been united in marriage with 
Miss Florence E. Perkins, a daughter of Churchill Perkins, Esq., 
of Pitt County, one of the largest planters of that section of the 
State, who for many years represented his county in the legis- 
lature of the State and who wielded a strong influence among all 
those associated with him. Their home in Raleigh, so admirably 
presided over by Mrs. Tucker, was famous for its elegance and 
hospitality, and Major Tucker was never so happy as when on 
stated occasions his house was filled to overflowing with the 
kindly faces of his numerous friends, who enjoyed beyond ex- 
pression his sumptuous entertainments. Of their children who 
reached maturity Miss Bessie Boylan Tucker married Mr. Eldward 
Fellowes; Miss Sarah Sanders Tucker married Mr. W. H. Wil- 
liamson; Miss Minnie Fitch Tucker married Mr. Ashby L 
Baker ; Miss Lula Sledge Tucker, one of the loveliest of her sex, 
married Dr. N. O. Harris of Atlanta, Ga., but died childless 
April 23, 1886; Miss Florence Perkins Tucker married Mr. John 
H. Winder, and Miss Margaret Perkins Tucker became the wife 
of Mr. James Boylan. 

Their only son to reach maturity, William Ruffin Tucker, mar- 
ried Miss Gertrude Winder and left one son, Rufus Tucker, and 
two daughters. Thoroughly educated and well equipped, on the 
death of his father, August 4, 1894, in connection with his mother, 
he entered on the management of Major Tucker's estate, and dis- 
played energy, capacity and great business sagacity. He con- 
ceived the design of erecting the Tucker Building on Fayetteville 
Street, the first of the kind built in Raleigh, and had laid the 



foundations of it, when, unhappily, January 16, 1899, he passed 
away, lamented by the community and esteemed and beloved by 
his friends. After his death the management of the estate de- 
volved alone on Mrs. Tucker, and she has given evidence of such 
extraordinary business capacity as to require some reference to 
it here. All her life Mrs. Tucker had been admired not only for 
her personal graces and social accomplishments, but for practical 
benevolence and for the unequaled administration of the affairs 
of her elegant home: and when the care of large interests was 
committed to her, she became a business woman whose efficiency 
was indeed notable. Particularly is the Tucker Building, whose 
construction was continued under her personal supervision in 
every detail, a monument to her remarkable capacity and adminis- 
trative ability. But more than that. Receiving from her husband 
a considerable estate, embracing many varied interests, she has, 
by prudent investments, by developing properties, with foresight 
and sagacity exchanging undesirable property for such as would 
appreciate, and by managing with consummate skill, greatly aug- 
mented the estate, exhibiting business capacity of a high order, 
seldom equaled by the most successful men of affairs in any com- 
munity. S. A. Ashe, 


2 HE town of Weldon, in the historic county of 
Halifax, preserves the name of a noted family 
which resided in that vicinity in colonial and 
Revolutionary times, and of this family was 
Colonel Samuel Weldon, to whose patriotic 
career we shall now direct attention. 
When the Provincial Congress of North Carolina met at Hali- 
fax, in the spring of 1776, it elected Mr. Weldon, on April 22d. 
a major in the Halifax regiment of militia, and he later (Novem- 
ber 23, 1776) was transferred with same rank to a battalion of 
volunteers then being raised for the assistance of South Carolina. 
He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the Halifax 
i-egiment on December 23, 1776. On April 24, 1778, he became 
colonel, but resigned his commission a few months later — ^prob- 
ably on account of ill-health. 

At a somewhat earlier period in the war than that last men- 
tioned Colonel Weldon was a member of the Provincial Congress 
which met at Halifax in the fall of 1776; and that body, on De- 
cember 23d, elected him a justice of the court of pleas and quarter 
sessions for the county of Halifax. 

The exact date of Colonel Weldon's death we are unable to as- 
certain, but that event occurred before the close of the war, as his 
will was probated in 1782. 

The children mentioned in this will are two sons: William Wei- 


don and Benjamin Allen Weldon; and two daughters, Penelope 
Weldon and Martha Weldon. His wife he refers to as Penelope 
Weldon, and also speaks of his brothers-in-law, William and 
David Short, so Short may have been the maiden name of Mrs. 

William Weldon, above mentioned as a son of Colonel Weldon, 
served in the Revolutionary Assembly of 1780 as a member of the 
house of commons from the county of Halifax. In and around 
Halifax, as well as elsewhere, many descendants of Colonel Wel- 
don are now living, but are nearly, if not quite, all descended 
through female lines. 

Marshall De Lancey Haywood. 




! #' ■ LFNOX AN0 

T L 


Mr. Weston's maternal grandfather, Colonel William Watson, 
of Hyde County, was also a man of note, being colonel of militia 
in the War of 181 2 and representing his county in the house of 
commons during the years 1822, 1823 and 1824. Mr. Weston's 
grandmother was a sister of the grandmother of Colonel David 
M. Carter; and through his father he is related to the families 
of Masters and Gk)elet of New Bern and to the Blairs of Pitt 

Mr. Samuel Weston was a planter and slai 3 

of strict integrity, in whom firmness of cha :er s 
with much gentleness, and under his wise di ion t 
life of his son was conservative, healthy and y, d 

life helpful and enjoyable, his amusements 1 th 

boys of his sphere in life, hunting, driving ana t 1 
and he has ever been an eager participator in c of 

in which bitterness and cruelty did not. enter. It 
sary for him to, perfcfm manual labor, much of 
spent in reading and study, and he was forti c 

among his instrtjctors men of exceptional ability 
has been felt thrbugh life and has contributed gi ly /ai 
gratifying success that he has attained. Under their judicio 
oversight, his love of reading received a discriminating directi 
and his thoughts were led into the pleasant paths of a pure lite 
ture. His literary studies and leisure reading were chiefly con- 
fined to history and biography, the novels of Scott and Dickens, 
and to those classical authors whose writings were calculated 
to strengthen and enlarge his mind. Hume's **History of Eng- 
land" and Tytler's "Outlines of General History" were the stan- 
dard historical studies of those days, and among the biographical 
works of which he was particularly fond, Plutarch's "Lives," the 
lives of Pitt, Wellington, Alfred the Great, Daniel Webster and 
Patrick Henry formed a miscellaneous list of heroic examples that 
insensibly strengthened that tendency toward hero worship which 
generally underlies the nature of a healthy boy. 

Like most boys, he had his high ideals of manhood; and his 
ideal of a man found its expression in Judge E. J. Warren of 


Washington, N. C, a lawyer of great intellect, whose speech in 
the trial of Carawan for murder was a model of forensic elo- 
quence, and who was of a nobility and openness, and a knightli- 
ness of character which drew the young hero worshiper irresist- 
ibly to him. Carried away by enthusiasm, he committed the 
great speech of Judge Warren to memory and gladly rode miles 
to hear him speak; and to his admiration for this eminent law- 
yer and admirable gentleman, he owed perhaps that indinatioQ 
to follow the legal profession which took such a strong hoM 
upon him. 

Mr. Weston's education was received in the common schools 
of Hyde County, at Jonesville Academy, Yadkin County, and 
at Trinity College, N. C, at Trinity College, Conn., and at the 
University of the City of New York. While at Trinity College, 
N. C, he was a student for two years under Dr. Braxton Craven, 
who became the second ideal of his life, and for whom he con- 
ceived an ardent admiration, as endowed with a gigantic intel- 
lect, as a master of men, whom because of his noble qualities of 
heart and head he ever loved and honored from the beginning 
of their association. Dr. Craven's "twelve-minute talks" to his 
students produced an indelible impression on his youthful imagi- 
nation and, in connection with the virtues of their author, exerted 
an influence upon him which time has not effaced. 

From childhood Mr. Weston had an admiration for the law, 
which he regarded as the highest and most desirable of the learned 
professions ; and when later he felt a call to the ministry of the 
church, the conflicting claims of the two, the law and the minis- 
try, for a time maintained a constant warfare in his heart, whidi 
ended apparently in the triumph of his first love, the law. Hav- 
ing made his decision, he began at once to prepare for the l^al 
profession in the office of Hon. John E. Young, of Leesburg, Va., 
and afterward studied for a time with Mr. John S. Hawks, of 
Washington, N. C, and in the spring of i86i was prepared to 
stand his examination for admittance to the Bar. The opening of 
the war, however, put an end to all thoughts of peaceful emptojr- 
ment, and Mr. Weston made no application for his license, bat 


at once enlisting in the army, entered on a military career. Upon 
the formation of the Thirty-third regiment he was chosen first 
lieutenant of Company F of that regiment, and underwent all 
the vicissitudes and shared in all the glories of that famous or- 
ganization. Colonel L. O'B. Branch was its first colonel, and 
after its baptism in blood at New Bern it passed on to Virginia, 
and upon leaving the cars, struck the enemy at the Slashes, near 
Hanover Court House, and from that day it bore a conspicuous 
part in all the great battles that brought an immortal fame to 
Stonewall Jackson and General Lee. Lieutenant Weston was 
wounded in one of the earlier engagements and for a short time 
was a prisoner of war. But soon rejoining his command, he won 
promotion for gallant conduct, and on August 5, 1862, received 
his commission as captain of his company, and on July 2S, 1864, 
his gallantry again received recognition and he became major of 
his regiment. The Thirty-third was in Branch's brigade and a 
part of A. P. Hill's light division, which well earned the appella- 
tion of Jackson's foot cavalry. After the battles around Rich- 
mond, the Thirty-third participated in the battle of Cedar Moun- 
tain, and was with Jackson in his march to Pope's rear, in the second 
battle of Manassas and in the capture of Harper's Ferry, and in 
Hill's forced march, reaching Sharpsburg in time to strengthen 
Lee's weak lines at the critical moment of that bloody engage- 
ment. It made the famous march with Jackson across Hooker's 
front; and upon Hill's promotion, when Pender was assigned to 
command the light division, the Thirty-third was of the force that 
first struck the enemy on July ist, at Gettysburg; then it partici- 
pated under General Lane in the celebrated charge of July 3d, 
and it was engaged in all the subsequent great battles of the war. 
At Jericho Ford, on May 23, 1864, Captain Weston was wounded 
and for some time was absent from his command, but on recover- 
ing he received his promotion and continued with General Lee 
through all the perils and hardships of the siege of Petersbut^. 
When the order for the surrender of the regiment was received 
from General Lee at Appomattox, Colonel R. V. Cowan read it, 
jumped up, his eyes flashing and said : "I won't surrender." Then 


turning to Major Weston, directed him to take charge of the regi- 
ment, and, mounting his horse, rode off. At that time the regi- 
ment numbered only lo officers and io8 men, although first and 
last its muster rolls show that it had had an enrollment of 1600 
men. So terrific had be6n its losses during the war that only 
about one in fifteen had survived its perils and dangers. 

At the request of Judge Clark, Major Weston wrote the ac- 
count of the Thirty-third regiment for the ''Regimental His- 
tories" of the State, and we make an extract from the concluding 
words of that excellent sketch : 

"Amid the gloom of our defeat, we found among the Federal soldiers 
some big-hearted men. An officer of the Thirty-third said to a Federal 
commissary : 'Give me some bread for my men, for they have had nothing 
to eat for three days/ 'I can't do it,' said the commissary, 'but walk about 
the tent carelessly and fill your haversack with crackers and loaf sugar 
and your canteen with whiskey, and I won't see you.' The officer did it 
I shall always have a soft place in my heart for the memory of General 
Grant. He treated us with great kindness and consideration, and did 
much, very much, to blunt the sting of defeat. It is his best, his greatest 

"The southern soldiers were the equals in every possible respect of any 
soldiers that ever fought for God or man. The world must bow before 
such men. We failed only because it was impossible to succeed. 

** 'It is not in mortals to command success; 
We did more, we deserved it* " 

At the battle of Jericho Ford he was badly wounded, and for 
three months suffered most intense pain. The surgeons pro- 
nounced his recovery impossible; but suddenly, after weeks of 
^gony, one morning without any apparent change the pain ceased 
almost instantly and never returned; and in gratitude for this 
marvelous and unexpected relief he made a vow that, if health 
and strength should be vouchsafed him, to devote himself to 
the ministry of the church, and faithfully has that vow been kept 

At the end of the war he laid away his sword, which he had 
borne so worthily, and the chapter of his military life being 
closed, he renounced all thought of practising the profession for 
which he had prepared himself, and entering on the fulfillment 


of his vow, exchanged the sword for the gown and donned the 
garb of a minister of peace. After a course of study at the 
Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., he was ordained deacon 
in the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1870 and in 1876 was or- 
dained to the priesthood. Since then he has had charge of 
churches in Hertford, in Raleigh and Hickory, and has distin- 
guished himself as a soldier of the cross by the same devotion to 
duty and singleness of purpose that had brought him distinction 
in the service of his country. His unaffected piety, his unswerving 
truthfulness, simplicity of heart and purity of life have won for 
him in the peaceful labors of the parish victories over the hearts 
of men and gained for him the love and reverence of all who 
know him. 

Major Weston, as he is still generally called by the veterans 
who remember his valor on the battlefield, is a typical North 
Carolinian, sticking resolutely to whatever he undertakes, doing it 
thoroughly and thereby winning success in every walk of life he 
has pursued; but he will perhaps be best remembered as the 
author of his learned and instructive volume "Historic Doubts as 
to the Execution of Marshal Ney." This able and comprehen- 
sive work, published by Thomas Whitaker, of New York, in 
1895, which has been favorably reviewed by magazines and 
papers of note, is a valuable contribution to historical literature 
and furnishes a new and interesting chapter in the story of re- 
markable events of which the great Napoleon was the central 

In it Major Weston undertakes to prove that Marshal Ney, 
whom Napoleon called "the bravest of the brave," instead of 
being executed by the detachment of French soldiers, was in real- 
ity, by a preconcerted plan, secretly conveyed to South Carolina 
and for many years lived quietly and in obscurity as a country 
school-teacher in North Carolina. This book was begun in 1882. 
Shortly after Mr. Weston first heard the story, long current in 
Carolina, of Peter S. Ney, who died in Rowan County in 1846, 
declaring on his death bed, when perfectly conscious, that he was 
Marshal Ney, who was condemned to death in 1815, but who. 


by the connivance of the soldiers detailed to execute him and of 
some of his friends, escaped death and came to America. This 
story, well known and believed for years by many prominent 
Carolinians, took strong hold on the imagination of Mr. Weston; 
never, he felt, under any circumstances would he have shot Stone- 
wall Jackson; and to him it was very incredible that French 
soldiers, who so devotedly loved Ney, the most valorous of 
Napoleon's generals and the idol of the army, should have shot 
him; and his faith in the uniformity of human nature led Mr. 
Weston to make an exhaustive investigation of all the facts bear- 
ing on the subject of Ney's alleged execution, of his escape, and 
of his identity with Peter S. Ney of North Carolina, as indicated 
by the peculiarities, habits and tastes known to be common to 
both; and above all by the similarity of the wounds borne on 
Iheir bodies and of their handwritings. The result of his investi- 
gation is embodied in this book, which has attracted wide at- 
tention and is of great interest to students as well as a fascinating 
story for general readers. It represents a vast amount of work 
and it has been a labor of love with its author, who has thrown 
himself into it with all the enthusiasm of his nature, spending for 
a dozen years all his leisure hours in that patient research neces- 
sary to collect the evidence that bears upon the subject. His 
style is clear and entertaining, while his capacity for hard and 
persistent work has enabled him to bring to light many obscure 
circumstances and to present his newly discovered evidence in a 
manner at once so pleasing and forcible that it is irresistibly con- 

Mr. Weston still indulges those literary tastes which he has 
enjoyed since youth and reperuses with pleasure the volumes 
which he loved in early manhood. He has a keen appreciation of 
wit and humor, which he conceives to be indispensable to success 
in life; and in the realm of fiction, works of humor appeal to 
him now as formerly, and he never tires of the "Pickwick Pa- 
pers," "Don Quixote" and "Gil Bias," and considers that if one 
cannot enjoy these last three works it would be well for him to 
put everything else aside until he has learned to do so. In poetic 


works, Shakespeare and Bums hold the highest place in his 
esteem. He pronounces "Tarn O'Shanter" simply peerless, and 
"Julius Cxsar" a masterpiece that never can be equaled, and 
which every schoolboy should learn by heart as he learns the al- 
phabet or the multiplication table. 

To these works of course must be added the legal and 
theological studies of later years. Blackstone's "Commentaries," 
Hooker's "Ecclesiastical Polity," Bishop Brown "On the Arti- 
cles," Pearson "On the Creed," Wheatly "On the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer," the works of Athanasius, and the life and work of 
Polycarp, the latter being the standard works of reference of the 

Much of his reading has been in the magazines and papers of 
the day, by which he has kept in touch with the doings of the 
world. Among the state newspapers of years ago, he remembers 
with much pleasure the Standard and the Spirit of the Age, in the 
latter of which appeared the "Pickled Rod Letters," by E. G. 
Reade, which he looks upon as of transcendent merit and which 
burnt themselves into his brain; and among the writers of note 
he recalls W. W. Holden, the prince of editors, who could say 
more in a few words and say it better than any one else he ever 
knew and whose writings were read with interest even by his bit- 
ter political opponents. 

A devoted patriot, attached to his country by every fiber of 
his being,' a galbnt soldier, an accomplished writer, a sincere 
Christian and a faithful minister of the Gospel, tireless in his 
Master's service, he has been faithful in all things, and his suc- 
cessful career is the best exemplification of his theory, that by 
thoroughness only can one reach efficiency. 

After this sketch had been prepared Mr. Weston died in 
Shelby, N. C, December 13, 1905. He was never married. 

S. A. Ashe. 


|T is a striking commentary on the neglect of 
^ their own history by North Carolinians to say 
^ that it was nearly two hundred years from the 
5 time of the first settlement till there was pub- 
_ lished a history of the State by a native. True 
J there had been various volumes published deal- 
ing with this subject in a general way, but Lawson was an Eng- 
lisman, Brickell an Irishman, Williamson was born in Pennsyl- 
vania and Martin in France. 

It was left for John Hill Wheeler to be the first native to de- 
vote any considerable amount of time to the history of Ms own 
people and the first to publish any considerable volume deahng 
with that subject as a whole, and it is right that he should be called 
the first native historian of North Carolina. He came of a long 
line of English ancestry who had been of service in their day. 
His family is traced to Sir Francis Wheeler, an Et^lish admir^ 
who received a land grant from Charles II. His son, Joseph, cuw 
to America and settled in Newark, N. J. Joseph's son, Ephraim, 
was bom in 1718, and to him was bom in 1744 John Wheeler, 
the first of American birth to bear that name. He became 1 
physician, married Elizabeth Longworth, niece of Aaron Ogden 
(1756-1839), governor of New Jersey and United States senator, 
and to this couple John Wheeler, father of the subject of tfiis 
sketch, was bom in 1771. Dr. Wheeler served in the RevolutioD- 


ary war, was with Montgomery at Quebec and with Greene on 
his southern campaign. After the war was over he settled near 
Murfreesboro, N, C, and practiced his profession there till his 
death in 1814. He left several works on medicine in manu- 
script, and this may be the source of the literary tendencies of bis 
grandson, the historian. 

In his early youth, John Wheeler, father of the historian, was 
engaged with his cousin, David Longworth, as a publisher and 
bookseller in New York City. Here he attracted the attention of 
Zedekiah Stone, of Bertie County, father of David Stone (1770- 
1818), by whom he was induced to come to North Carolina. He 
fettled in Bertie County and married there Elizabeth Jordan. He 
later removed to Murfreesboro and was engaged in shipping and 
mercantile business till his death in 1832. By enterprise, indus- 
try and integrity he attained success and was known in the sec- 
tion as the honest merchant. He was three times married, and by 
his first wife left John H. Wheeler and Dr, Samuel Jordan 
Wheeler of Bertie; by the second wife, a daughter, who became 
the wife of Dr. Goodwin C. Moore, and by his third wife Colonel 
Junius B. Wheeler, at one time professor of civil and military 
engineering and the art of war in the United States Military 
Academy at West Point. 

John Hill Wheeler was born in Murfreesboro, Hertford Coun- 
ty, N. C. August 2, 1806 (not August 6, 1806, nor August 2, 
1802). He was prepared for college at Hertford Academy by 
Rev. Jonathan Otis Freeman ; was graduated from the Columbian 
(now the George Washington) University, of Washington dty, 
in 1826 and in 1828 was given A.M. by the University of North 
Carolina. He studied law under Chief Justice Taylor, was li- 
censed in 1827 and elected the same year to the legislature from 
Hertford County. He served through the sessions of 1827, 1828, 
1829. 1830, and won for himself honorable rank. He was then 
nominated for Congress from the Edenton district as a Demo- 
crat, but was defeated by William B. Shepard (1799-1852), 

In 1831 Wheeler was appointed by the President secretary to 


the Board of Commissioners under the treaty with France to ad- 
judicate the claims of American citizens for spoliations under 
the Berlin and Milan decrees. The commission continued in ser- 
vice for three years and was made up of George W. Campbell of 
Tennessee, John K. Kane of Philadelphia and Romulus M. Saun- 
ders of North Carolina. In January, i837> he was appointed 
superintendent of the Branch Mint of the United States at Char- 
lotte. This position he held through the Van Buren administra- 
tion and went out in 1841, sharing the political fortunes of his 
party. In 1842 he was offered the Democratic nomination as 
candidate for the house of commons from Mecklenburg County, 
but declined, as he was then removing from Charlotte to Beattie's 
Ford, on the Catawba, in Lincoln County, which from that time 
became his North Carolina home. In 1842 he was elected treas- 
urer of the State over Major Charles L. Hinton and in 1844 was 
in turn succeeded by Major Hinton. He was discussed as the 
Democratic nominee for governor in 1844, but the nomination 
went to Michael Hoke (q.v,). For the next seven years he was 
engaged in preparing his "History of North Carolina/' which ap- 
peared in 1 85 1 and will be considered more in detail later. 

He was a member of the house of commons in 1852 from 
Lincoln County and took part in the sharp contest between fac- 
tions of the Democratic party over the election of United States 
senator to succeed Mangum, whose term expired March 3, 1853. 
The caucus nominee of the Democrats was James C. Dobbin. He 
received the enthusiastic support of Wheeler, who was also Us 
personal friend, but the friends of Romulus M. Saunders re- 
fused to support the caucus nominee and cast their ballots for 
Burton Craige. As a result there was a deadlock and the State 
had but a single senator for nearly two years. A compromise 
was effected by the election of David S. Reid, who took his seit 
December 11, 1854. For this fidelity to his friend Cdaad 
Wheeler was soon to be rewarded. In 1853 President Pierce ap- 
pointed him minister to Nicaragua, C. A. He received hia 
mission August 2, 1854, sailed October 31st, and landed at 
Juan del Norte in December, 1854. Because of the position of 



the country and the protectorate assumed by England this office 
was at that time an important and dehcate mission. On his 
arrival he found rival factions at war, as usual, but he discovered 
a president de facto and de jure and a treaty of amity and com- 
merce was framed June 20, 1855. 

It was during Wheeler's service as minister to Nicaragua that 
the first of Walker's filibustering expeditions against that re- 
public occurred. Spanish Central America was then, as has 
often been the case since, torn by opposing revolutionary forces. 
The Span ish-Ameri can, unused to self-government and without 
that respect for law which characterizes the English-speaking 
world, spends much of his time either in seeking to aggrandize 
himself at the expense of others or in overthrowing those who 
have already succeeded in doing the things to which his own 
ambition leads. 

Walker was an ardent Anglo-American and had contempt for 
the Spanish and mongrel races that by their indolence and semi- 
barbarism condemned to unprod nativity one of the most fertile 
regions of the world. His purpose was to plant there Americans 
who would restore peace, order, and prosperity and introduce a 
higher civilization. He sot sail from San Francisco with a small 
armed band of soldiers of fortune May 4, 1855, at the invitation 
of one of the warring factions. After various fortunes he cap- 
tured on October 12, 1855, Grenada and so made himself master 
of all. He then secured the election of Ponciano Corral as pro- 
visional president and Wheeler, in the absence of others, acted 
as special messenger from Walker to Corral, then at Rivas. Here 
Wheeler was arrested and imprisoned and his execution under 
orders from Corral was imminent when an attack on the city by 
his friends under Captain Scott forced his release. Wheeler used 
his influence to promote Walker's revolution, and as soon as the 
latter had established his authority and had become the de facto 
government it was acknowledged by the American minister, just 
as was done a few years ago in case of the new Panama Republic. 
This action brought down on him the strictures of his superior, 
the Hon. William L. Marcy, then secretary of state, but his 


friend, James C. Dobbin, was now in the cabinet as secretary of 
the navy; Wheeler replied to the strictures of his superk>r, con- 
vinc^ the President and remained at his post Here he suc- 
cored many Americans who had fallen on the evil days of dvil 
war while on their way to California; but civil war oontinued; 
his own health was impaired by his residence, he was allowed to 
return home and resigned in 1857. ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ public ser- 
vice ; he now took up his residence in Washington city, although 
his love for North Carolina never grew less and he claimed the 
State as his legal residence till the last. 

As the American civil war came on, Colonel Wheeler was 
drawn to espouse the fortunes of his native State and returned 
to North Carolina, but he was too old to be an active participant, 
and in 1863, under a resolution of the General Assembly, sailed 
to Europe to collect materials for a new edition of his "History 
of North Carolina." He spent parts of 1863 and 1864 in histori- 
cal investigation, principally in England, and collected much new 
material, which was to have been incorporated in a new edition, 
but this was never prepared for publication. 

It is as the first native historian of North Carolina and as one 
of the most prolific writers produced in the antebellum period 
that Colonel Wheeler will be remembered. He began the com- 
pilation of his '^History" about 1843, ^^^ ^^ was published, two 
volumes in one, by Lippincott, Grambo & Co., Philadelphia, 
in 1851 ; his "Legislative Manual and Political Regiister*^ ap- 
peared in 1874 (Raleigh) ; his ''Reminiscences and Memoirs of 
North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians" was published 
posthumously (Columbus, O., 1884). These represent his prin- 
cipal but not all his works, for he contributed biographical and 
historical articles to magazines, did some compiling for the Fed- 
eral government, wrote on the Mecklenburg Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, in which he was a firm believer, and in 1843 compiled 
for the State a series of ''Indexes to Documents" relative to North 

Colonel Wheeler *s love and enthusiasm for North Carolina 
were unbounded. He sought in every way to advance her inter- 


ests and to make known her record. His "History" is the only 
book of its kind that has ever touched the heart of the people 
or become a part of their being. The edition was 10,000 copies 
and most seem to have been sold. It is still quoted more often per- 
haps than all others. His "Reminiscences," containing many 
biographical sketches, is a revision and extension of the second 
volume of his "History," is the first of its kind ever written 
about the State and the only one undertaking to cover the whole 
field, until the inauguration of the present series. 

But with all his love of North Carolina and enthusiasm for 
her past, with all his efforts to preserve an honorable history. 
Colonel Wheeler had little idea of the aims and knew nothing 
of the methods of the modern historical school. He was not an 
historian ; he undertook too much ; he had little idea of the relative 
importance of facts, and shoveled in as many as possible, making 
the whole a jumble of ill-digested material. The first volume 
of his "History" contains but 138 pages, but it covers nearly 
two hundred years, includes complete lists of alumni of the Uni- 
versity and of Davidson College, long civil lists, newspaper lists, 
etc. Volume II gives a history of each county, with sketches of 
the more prominent citizens and lists of representatives in the 
Assembly. The work is rather a source book for North Carolina 
history than a "History of North Carolina," but it is marred by 
innumerable errors and was charged in its day with being partisan 
in character. The '"Legislative Manual," as its name implies, is 
given up largely to civil lists and matters pertaining to govern- 
mental organization; the "Reminiscences," published after his 
death, literally swarms with errors. But the limitations under 
which Wheeler labored must be kept in mind. It is true that be 
had better opportunities for investigation than his predecessors, 
for he worked largely from official documents and made many 
extracts from the British archives, but the sources used were very 
incomplete. His "History" and his "Reminiscences" are based 
on what were at ihe time of their publication almost entirely 
imprinted sources, and while a student trained in historical meth- 
ods would have escaped under the same circumstances many of 


the errors into which this author has fallen, he could not have 
escaped them all. These books, if used with care by students 
who know the literature of the subject in hand and can so check 
them up by later and more trustworthy authorities, are still of 
some value. But their main importance to the State has been not 
in the facts which they convey, nor the way in which the story 
has been told, but in unfolding and arousing an enthusiasm for 
the history of a great State in the minds of youthful students. 

Colonel Wheeler was twice married. His first wife was Miss 
Mary Brown, daughter of Rev. O. B. Brown, of Washington, 
D. C. She had one daughter, who married George N. Beale, 
brother of General E. F. Beale, at one time United States Min- 
ister to Austria. His second wife was Ellen Sully, daughter of 
Thomas Sully, one of the most distinguished artists of Phila- 
delphia. She had two sons — Charles Sully Wheeler, who served 
in the Federal navy, and Woodbury Wheeler, who was a captain 
in the Confederate army. Later they both became lawyers and 
resided in Washington City. The former still survives. 

Colonel Wheeler died in Washington City December 7, 1882. 
The love for his native State was strong even in death, for his 
coffin-plate bore the name of her whom he loved and for whose 
intellectual upbuilding he had labored so faithfully and long. 

This sketch is made up from materials found in the Memoir 
of Colonel Wheeler prepared by Hon. Joseph S. Fowler and 
printed in his ^'Reminiscences" and from the materials in hand 
for my ''Bibliography of North Carolina." 

Stephen B, Weeks. 


and that of Charles, came to America. Matthew Gary Whitaker 
was an only child. When a youth he ran away from school and 
joined the patriot army, fought and was wounded at the battle of 
Guilford Court House. He married, March 13, 1787, Elizabeth 
Coffield, daughter of Spier Coffield, of Edgecombe County, N. C, 
bought land in the wilderness, near Enfield, Halifax County, 
N. C, and in 1790 began the erection of a residence thereon. 
This, conformably to the condition of independence upon wfaidi 
the planters of those early days prided themselves, was built by 
his negroes of wood cut and sawed on the land, his nails being 
made in his own blacksmith shop by them, the bricks burned by 
them and the lime made of oyster shells brought from Norfolk, 
Va., to which place his produce was sent to market, and from 
which his supplies for the year were brought. He represented 
Halifax County in the house of commons from 1800 to 1806, 
inclusive — seven terms; in the senate from 1807 to 1810, inclu- 
sive, and again in 181 2 — five terms (Wheeler's Hist. N. C, II, 
203). He became blind in his last years; he had seven daughters 
and three sons ; of the former, two died in infancy. Those who 
reached maturity and married were: Martha Cary (b. 1789), 
married Ricks Fort; Elizabeth Coffield (b. 1792), marrieS James 
Grant, comptroller North Carolina from 1828 to 1834, and left a 
son and daughter; Priscilla West (b. 1800), married Robert Ran- 
son ; Gough Anne ( 1860-1 87-), who became Mrs. William Bustin, 
and left sons and daughters. Among his grandsons were Gen- 
erals Matthew Whitaker Ransom and Robert Ransom, of the Coo* 
federate States army, and Judge James Grant, of the superior 
courts of Iowa, son of James Grant above mentioned. 

Matthew Cary Whitaker's eldest son, Gough (1795-1806), 
died in his twelfth year. His youngest son. Dr. Matthew Caiy 
Whitaker (1801-73), was never married. He was a member of 
the General Assembly from Halifax County in 1846 (Wbedcr, 
II, 204). 

Spier Whitaker, first, was the sixth child and second son of 
Matthew Cary Whittaker; he was bom July 18, 1798, in Halifax 
County, N. C. He married, December 30, 1819, Elizabeth Figures 


Lewis (1801-89), daughter of Exum Lewis, of Edgecombe 
County, a militia colonel in the Revolutionary war. Mr. Whitaker 
devoted his attention to the study of law, and after a cour.'^e at 
the University of North Carolina, practised his profession vtry 
successfully in North Carolina; was a member of the house of 
commons from Halifax county, in 1838, and attorney-general of 
North Carolina from 1842 to 1846. In 1854 he removed with his 
family to Davenport, Iowa, and associated himself in the practice 
of law with his nephew, Judge James Grant, who had early emi- 
grated from North Carolina to that State. About i860 he retired 
from active life as a lawyer. In 1861, though never in favor of 
nullification or secession, he returned to North Carolina and 
offered his services to Governor Qark, who appointed him aide on 
his staff, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel, which position he 
held, assisting the governor in the direction of military affairs, 
from July, 1861, to September, 1862. In after years, Governor 
Clark took occasion to express in emphatic terms his high appreci- 
ation of Colonel Whitaker's ability and help to him while 

Colonel Whitaker had seven sons, all of whom were educated at 
the University of North Carolina. They manifestly came of 
fighting stock, two only having spent their entire lives as civilians, 
viz.: Matthew Whitaker (1820-97}, M.D., the eldest, who also 
studied law and was alternately lawyer, physician, farmer and 
teacher — a man of ability, a versatile and unique character ; and 
Charles, the fourth son, a lawyer, who practised his profession 
fifty years at Davenport, Iowa, and now resides in Birmingham, 
Ala. Five of the sons were soldiers. Their record is remarkable. 
Exum (1823-47), the second son, commissioned by President 
Polk a captain in the United States Army, served as a volunteer 
in the war with Mexico, and died at Camargo, in that country, 
June 2, 1847, of disease contracted in the service. The other 
four sons, upon the outbreak of the civil war, promptly es[>oused 
the cause of the Confederacy. John (1827-63), the third son, 
at his plantation home in Halifax County, raised a company, of 
which he was captain, which was afterward incorporated into the 


First North Carolina Cavalry, Hampton's brigade. He was subse- 
quently major of this regiment, and was mortally wounded June 
27, 1863. William (1836-62), the fifth son, was also a member 
of the First North Carolina Cavalry. Of handsome and appar- 
ently strong physique, he came on horseback through many diffi- 
culties and dangers, across the plains from California, to join the 
Confederate army, but died early in the war, at his father's home 
at Chapel Hill, N. C, October 20, 1862, aged twenty-six, of ccm- 
sumption, occasioned by severe service in the Army of Northern 
Virginia. David (1838-65), the sixth son, a lieutenant of the 
Seventh Tennessee Cavalry, likewise died of disease contracted 
in the cause of the Confederacy, April 21, 1865, at Jamestown, 
N. C. 

Upon the expiration of the civil war. Colonel Whitaker re- 
turned with his family to his home in Davenport, la., which had 
been saved from confiscation by the presence and care of his son, 
Charles, "living there quietly and peaceably, honored and re- 
spected by every man who was acquainted with him." He died 
in that place December 2, 1869. 

In an article on the life of Spier Whitaker, 2d, subject of 
this sketch, which appeared in the News and Observer, Raleigh, 
N. C, on July 11, 1901, the day succeeding his death, Hon. Josqih 
B. Batchelor writes as follows : 

'The death of this distinguished man has removed one who made his 
impression on the generation in which he lived and labored. • • • While 
he was a lad his father moved to Davenport, Iowa, to live and practice 
law ; but his attachment to his native State was such that in the foUowinf 
year he sent his son back to the State and had him entered as a pupil 
in the school of Major Sam Hughes at Cedar Grove, in Orange Gnmty. 
There he was prepared for college and was matriculated in our tmiTenitsr 
in the summer of 1857. Just before his graduation, upon the call of his 
State for troops for the war between the states, he volunteered as a private 
in the company raised by Captain Richard J. Ashe, and was in the camp 
of instruction at the time of the secession of the State on May ao, 1861. 
His company was a part of the regiment of which Lieutenant-Gcnenl 
D. H. Hill was then colonel, and he was in the battle of Bethel, in which 
the heroic youths of North Carolina so distinguished themselves. In 
March, 1862, he was captured at New Bern by General Bumside's forces 


and was a prisoner of war at Governor's Island and elsewhere for four 
months. Upon his exchange he was, on the recommendation of 
Lieutenant-Colonel R. F. Hoke, appointed second lieutenant and assigned 
to Company K, Thirty-third North Carolina State troops, and participated 
in the battles of Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, and all the other battles in 
which that regiment so bravely fought, except one; for some time he was 
its adjutant, having been promoted to the ofBce of first lieutenant 

"In one battle his courage and coolness were so conspicuous that Briga- 
dier-General James Conner, temporarily commanding his brigade, thought 
it due to him to commend him in a general order to General James H. 
Lane. . . . 

"Adjutant Whitaker surrendered at Appomattox, i 
father's home in Iowa, but he did not remain away 
returned to the State to live. Having studied / un j 
obtained his license to practice in the county c< ts in 1 

Raleigh, occupying an office with Colonel Ed. i 
winter of 1866 he removed to Halifax and made 1 at 

1867 he obtained license to practice in the superior c 
after was made solicitor of the county court. He so« 
good practice and became prominent in politics c 

1881 he served with credit to himself as a )er of the 

enlarge his practice he returned to Ral m 

ship with John Gatling, Esq., a law; of d 
association continued until a short time before tne ae 
and the firm was justly regarded as one of the 1 ( in t :. 

During the continuation of the partnership and aft- /ara Mr. 1 

was diligent in the prosecution of his profession, tho i occasi< lly 
took a prominent part in the politics of the State, in 1888 he led tne 
forces of Judge Fowle in the contest with Lieutenant-Governor Stedman 
for the nomination for governor before the Democratic convention, and, 
having succeeded, was made chairman of the Democratic State committee. 
He was skilful, bold, and aggressive in the campaign of that year, and 
success crowned his efforts. 

"In July, 1889, he attracted much attention by the ability, skill, and 
courage with which he conducted an investigation of the conduct of certain 
officers of the insane asylum, in which the public took very great interest 
His exhaustive argument before the asylum board, composed of men of 
distinction, was pronounced by all who heard it, and by the public who 
read it, to be of rare eloquence and of great logical force. 

"In November, 1889, he was appointed by Governor Fowle judge of the 
superior courts of the Fourth district, and, having been subsequently 
elected by the people, held the office until July 10, 1894, when he resigned 
and returned to the practice of law. In the preparation for his courts, 


whether at nisi prius or before the Supreme Court, Mr. Whitaker was ercr 
diligent and painstaking, and was generally successful when success was 
possible. In the year 1897 ... he suffered a slight attack of paralyas 
and was seriously ill for some weeks. But he recovered almost entirely, 
so that his natural force of mind was not abated, and only those intimate 
with him could discover any diminution of his physical strength. 

^'In the summer of 1898, upon the declaration of war with Spain, Judge 
Whitaker was urged by some of his friends, including General Robert F. 
Hoke, who so well Imew of his soldierly qualities in the Confederate 
army, for an appointment as brigadier-general of volunteers in the United 
States Army. President McKinley did not see proper to make that appoint- 
ment, but, on June 20, 1898, signed to him a commission as major and 
assigned him to service with the Sixth regiment, United States Voltm- 
teers. He at once repaired to Knoxville, Tenn., where his regiment was 
then in camp, and assisted in its drilling and more thorough organization. 
He went with it to Porto Rico, but the war ended before it was called 
upon for active service. . . . 

"About the time Judge Whitaker began the practice of law he was 
married to Fanny DeBerniere, a datfghter of the late John DeBemiere 
Hooper, prafeesor of Greek in the State University, she being a great- 
great-granddaughter of William Hoc^e^; who signed the Declaration of 
Independence."^ She' and iouf ^ns and' a daughter are left to mourn the 
loss of their distinguished husband axiQ father." 

^'According to a long-cherished wish of Judge Whitaker's, he was 
shrouded in a Confederate battle flag^the emblem of the cause for which 
he fought so loyally. The flag was a gift from the local camp of United 
Confederate Veterans." 

Judge Whitaker's children are : DeBemiere, mining engineer 
and superintendent of the Juragua Iron Campany, Santiago de 
Cuba ; Percy, in newspaper work in New York City ; Spier, and 
Vernon Edelen, in Birmingham, Ala., the former in advertising 
business, the latter agent of the Seaboard Air Line Railway ; and 
Bessie Lewis Whitaker ; all of them were educated in part at the 
University of North Carolina, with which their ancestors and 
near relatives have been connected as students and teachers 
almost from its foundation. 

Fanny DeBemiere (Hooper) WhiUiker. 

^The descent of Mrs. Whitaker, n^ Hooper, from William Hooper, 
signer of the Declaration, is on the maternal side. Her father was a grud- 
son of George Hooper (1747- 1820), brother of the signer; whue her 
mother, Mary, also born Hooper, was a great-granddaughter of the sincr. 
being a daughter of Rev. William Hooper (1790-1870), D.D^ LL.D. 


ton manufacturer, merchant and farmer, a 
ffiident of Graham, Alamance County, N. C. 
was born at Locust Hill, Caswell County, on 
Marcli 6, 1842. His father, Thomas William- 
son, was a large planter and also merchant and 
istinguisheil in his county for his energy and thrift, and for 
his high sense of honor and exact justness in al! his dealings, but 
In: sought no political station and the only service that he ren- 
dered of a public nature was as a magistrate of his county. 

His mother was Frances Banks Parish, of Scotch-Irish descent 
(an elder sister of the late Mrs. E. M. Holt), a woman of excel- 
lent attainments, intellectual, pious and sincere, a descendant of 
the well-known Banks and Parish families of Virginia. Her 
mother was Prances Banks, a sister of Hon. Lynn Banks, who for 
twenty successive years was speaker of the house of delegates of 
Virginia and then was elected to Congress from that State and 
served from 1838 until his death in 1842. He was esteemed as 
among the leading statesmen of Virginia and his death was 
widely lamented. 

The subject of this sketch was reared by his pious mother, for 
his father died when he was but six years of age; consequently, 
he was thrown exclusively under the care of his widowed parent, 
and her influence upon him, and her early teachings followed 


hitn all through his career. He was early required to perform 
many little duties in assisting and directing affairs for her and 
he often did work as a pleasure rather than a task. At an early 
age he was entered at school, it being the desire of his mother, as 
well as the expressed wish of his father before his death, that he 
should be afforded all the advantages of a thorough education. 
He was a pupil of Dr. Alexander Wilson's preparatory school in 
Alamance County, which was regarded perhaps as the best scbocd 
in the State at that time, and then entered Davidson Collie; it 
both of these institutions he took a good stand and Dr. Wilson's 
report of him was, '*he is among the best in his classes." When 
nineteen years of age, on May 13, 1861, in answer to his country's 
call, he enrolled himself as a private in Company A, of the Third 
regiment of volunteers, being the first company that was raised in 
Caswell County. This regiment elected W. D. Pender, the noUe 
and brave soldier who so greatly distinguished himself subse* 
quently as its colonel, and was by that excellent officer well 
drilled and trained in their duties as soldiers. Later, on the for- 
mation of the ten regiments of state troops, it was borne on the 
rolls as the Thirteenth regiment, and when Pender in September 
was assigned to the Sixth regiment, Captain A. M. Scales wis 
elected its colonel. Before Richmond it served in the brigade of 
General Garland, and until after Sharpsburg, when it was as- 
signed to Pender's brigade, and it continued under Pender after he 
was promoted to be major-general, and under Scales, who snc- 
ceeded to the command of the brigade, and was commanded by 
that gallant officer during the remainder of the war. For four 
years James N. Williamson followed the flag and shared all of the 
hardships of his associates of Company A, of the Thirteenth 
regiment. He participated in nearly all of those great batdes 
that made the names of Jackson and Lee illustrious in the annals 
of warfare. At Chancellorsville he was with those who followed 
Jackson across Hooker's front and routed Sigel's corps; on the 
second day of that great battle, Lieutenant Williamson, for he 
had been promoted in September, 1862, was wounded. He had 
the same misfortune at Gettysburg and again at the battle of the 


Wilderness, while his soldierly conduct brought further promo- 
tion to the rank of first lieutenant. He continued with the army to 
the end, was with Lee in the trenches about Petersburg, and came 
out of the war as captain of his company, wlien parolled at 

Returning home and finding that the fortunes of his family 
had been greatly diminished by the result of the war, he knew that 
school days for him were over, and he turned his attention 
promptly to the real work of life. His career as a soldier had 
developed all the elements of manhood, and with a determination 
worthy of one of Lee's veterans, he put his shoidders to the 
wheel and undertook the management of his farm. Nothing had 
been left to him at the epd of the war except his land in Caswell 
County and he began at once to farm and devoted himself suc- 
cessfully to that business for two years. 

On September 5, 1865, he was married to Mary E. Holt, daugh- 
ter of the late Edwin M. Holt, of Alamance County, and of this 
union the following children were bom: WiUiam Holt, who 
married Sadie Tucker, a daughter of Major R. S. Tucker, of 
Raleigh, and they have one child, a son, William Holt William- 
son, Jr. ; Ada V., who married O. H. Foster, of Raleigh, and who 
died in 1898, leaving one child, a daughter, Mary Williamson 
Foster; James N., Jr., who married Mary A., daughter of E, A. 
Saunders, of Richmond, Va., and ihcy have two children, a son, 
James Saunders Williamson, and a daughter, Mary Archer Wil- 
liamson ; and Mary Blanche, who married J. Harrison Spencer, 
of Martinsville, Va., and they have three children, a son, James 
Williamson Spencer, and two daughters, Margaret Dillard 
Spencer and Mary Holt Spencer. 

E. M. Holt was at the time of the marriage of his daughter, 
Mary E., and had been for years, operating the Alamance Cotton 
Mills, and made Mr. Williamson a proposition to become a part- 
ner with his five sons in conducting the Alamance Cotton Mills 
under the firm name of E. M. Holt's Sons. Having previously 
been attracted by the possibilities of manufacturing, and having 
formed a desire to make this his life's vocation, Mr. Williamson 


realized that this was an excellent opportunity for him to enter 
this business and be associated with men of experience and ac- 
cepted Mr. Holt's proposition. In 1867 ^^ moved to Alamance 
County and assumed his new duties as a partner in the firm above- 
mentioned, also continuing his farming operations in Caswdl 
County. The Alamance Cotton Mills having proved suooessfaU 
and the members of the firm desiring to extend their businesi, the 
Carolina Cotton Mills on Haw River, near Graham, were pro- 
jected, built and placed under the management of the late James H. 
Holt and Mr. Williamson. Here for fifteen years he and Mr. 
J. H. Holt were actively engaged in the conduct of this business, 
which was operated under the firm name of J, H. & W. E. 
Holt & Co. 

Upon the commencement of the operation upon the Carolina 
Cotton Mills he moved to the town of Graham, where be has 
since resided. 

Mr. Williamson then built the Ossipee Cotton Mills in Ala- 
mance County and managed and operated them under the firm 
name of James N. Williamson & Sons with gratifying success 
until his sons, William H. and James N. Williamson, Jr., arrived 
at maturity and took from his shoulders much of the burden of 
active management. In the affairs of the Ossipee Cotton Mills, 
Mr. Williamson has continued to take an active part, but the 
practical management has been committed to his son, James N. 
Williamson, Jr. Some years after the erection of the Ossipee 
Mills, he and his son, William Holt, under the firm name of 
James N. & W. H. Williamson, erected the Pilot Cotton Mills al 
Raleigh, N. C, the active management of which is and has been, 
from the beginning, in the hands of his son, William H. WilUam- 
son. In all these various manufacturing enterprises Mr. Wil- 
liamson has been remarkably successful and whatever he has 
undertaken has prospered even beyond his expectations. 

Mr. Williamson as an intelligent, earnest, progressive citizen, 
has always taken an active interest and zealous part in the affairs, 
political and social, of his county, state and nation, and also in the 
affairs of that branch of the church with which in his early life he 


had become connected ; but he has had no disposition to take an/ 
other part than as private citizen. He has been repeatedly solicited 
to accept the nomination of the political party with which he was 
affiliated for ofhces that were well fitted to his talents and char- 
acter, but his tastes were not of the kind that called for such a 
career or for political reward. He had early determined on a 
business life and has never chosen to vary it and has declined all 
offers of party rec<^nition and of political honors. He has 
adhered closely to his business pursuits acid finds gratification in 
the reflection that he has been instrumental in building up indus- 
tries that have given employment to many, and has thereby 
tended to the elevation and advancement of many worthy families, 
making them comfortable in their homes. 

His own home life has been most happy and fortunate, and in 
the successful career of his sons he has found great grati6cation. 
In his church affiliations he is a Presbyterian ; and in political 
matters he has always affiliated with the Democratic party, except 
that he voted for President McKinley, because of the ultra views 
held by Bryan, who was the Democratic candidate at that time. 

Notwithstanding his busy life, Mr. Williamson is fond of good 
horses and indulges in the sports of the 6eld. The strength of 
character which came to him from his experience during the war 
and his association with the brave men with whom he was in con- 
tact during those trying times doubtless has had much to do with 
the power of Mr. Williamson to achieve success in life, but he 
was also animated by a spirit born of the home influence ; and 
particularly was he led to wish to emulate his father, for whom he 
had the highest admiration and veneration, which was increased 
by the opinion often expressed of him by his friends, such as the 
revered Chief Justice Ruffin. Hon. Calvin Graves and Hon. Bed- 
fnr<I Brown, and the esteemed Edwin M. Holt, who became the 
father-in-law of Mr. Williamson. 

S. A. Ashe. 

T'lE KEV.' \ORK 



I - - 



Mr. Williamson is a cotton manufacturer, and he is this in 
warp and woof, not merely having drifted into the business. He 
was, in a literal sense, born in it, for his father, James Nathaniel 
Williamson, wiiose sketch precedes this, was a successful cotton 
manufacturer before him, combining with this the business of a 
merchant and before engaging in the cotton manufacturing busi- 
ness was a successful farmer. Added to the fact that he inherits 
the manufacturing instinct on his father's side is the other fact 
that this is his legitimate heritage on the maternal side, for his 
mother. Mary E. Holt Williamson, was a daughter in that family 
of Holts whose name is closely allied with the success of cotton 
manufacturing in North Carolina. Young Williamson had the 
manufacturing instinct in his fiber, and as his wishes for his life 
work coincided with the desires of his father, naturally he became 
a cotton manufacturer with" the hope from even boyhood days to 
aid his father in his business andfinally succeed him in the man- 
agement of his mills. ^ ;;■ 'i 

In physical qualities, a* well, as mental, Mr. Williamson is 
fitted for the life work he has undertaken. He is a robust man, 
i-rt'cl in carri.-ige, )irnad of shoulders, with eyes that look at you 
with jKDwer behind ihem. His early life in the country gave him 
ihat heritage of good health which comes to those who live in the 
f-unshine and the open air. away from the shut-in walls of city 
life; while his father's abundance made it unnecessary for the 
younger Williamson to engage in manual labor for a livelihood, 
yet with rare discernment of future needs the elder Williamson 
gave him frequent tasks which inured to his benefit in after 
years. While liking out-of-door life and sports, he did not neglect 
the cidture side, for he has always been a reader, his selection of 
bdoks being made with discrimination and with an avoidance of 
ciieap and trashy Hlerature. In all those things which go to make 
up the finer manhood the influence of his mother was potent, and 
he gri'w in well-rounded lines, developed physically and mentally, 
his mind trained to accuracy in business life, while in the develop- 
ment of the intellectual and material sides there was no neglect of 
(he moral aiid sj>iriiual, the splendid influence of his mother con- 


tributing to this, for she was a loving, strong-minded Qiristian 
mother, one who never failed her son. 

Educationally, young Williamson was well equipped, fhough 
he never sought a classical or professional education, the bent of 
his mind being for the active duties of cotton mill life. As a lad, 
he attended Lynch's School at High Point, and, foUowing the 
thorough instruction he received there, he went to Davidson Col- 
lege, at which well-known institution of learning he spent two 
years. This was two years well spent, for the influences whicii 
there surround a young man are such as to make him the better, 
and when he left that college he carried with him those impres* 
sions of life and duty which have made him an ideal head of a 
great manufacturing plant, one who has been keen to respond to 
the call of those in his employ and who has given opportunities 
for a better life to the mill people on his pay-roll, as is evidenced 
by the liberal conduct of the Pilot Mills and the opportunities 
which he has aided in placing at the command of the people who 
labor in his employ. The hall, the library and the social life of 
the Pilot Mill people have been made possible because of the deep 
interest which Mr. Williamson has shown in the advancement of 
the home life of the men and women whose lives are spent where 
the machinery is at work. 

Ending his college career in June, 1884, with the record of one 
who had grasped the opportunities for instruction and develop- 
ment, he went almost immediately into the cotton manufacturing 
business, and in 1887, when he was twenty years of age, his father, 
who owned the Ossipee Cotton Mills, admitted him as a partner, 
and he became manager of the Ossipee Cotton Mills at Elon Gd- 
lege, N. C, where he remained till 1894, in these seven years 
developing into a thoroughly trained cotton manufacturer, study- 
ing the details of the business from every point of view, so tint 
he might know how to meet every question which might arise ia 
the business. In 1892 he planned and built the Pilot Cotton MiOs 
at Raleigh, and left the Ossipee Mills and came to Raleigh as die 
general manager of the Pilot Cotton Mills, which was operated 
under the firm name of James N. & W. H. Williamson. TWi 


position lie filled with signal ability and success^ until January i, 
1907, when the mills were incorporated under the name of Pilot 
Cotton Mills Company, and he became the president and treas- 
urer, a position which he is now filling with the utmost 
satisfaction to all concerned, and in which he has further oppor- 
tunities of improving the condition of the mill operatives, a matter 
in which he takes the liveliest interest. In his conduct and man- 
agement of the mills he has shown his aptitude for cotton manu- 
facturing and has made the enterprise one of tlie most successful 
in the country. He does not believe in making slioddv and cheap 
goods, and consequently the product of his mills is the best of its 
kind and well known throughout the United States. His business 
life is wrapped up in his mill business, and outside of that he has 
only given his time for a while as a director of the Citizen's 
National Bank of Raleigh. 

Mr. Williamson has not been one to join many societies, and 
his name appears only as a member of two, these heing the Alpha 
Tau Omega Fraternity and the Junior Order of United American 
Mechanics; this he joined that he might be in touch and sympathy 
with his employees and do all he could to better their condition. 
Like his father, he is modest and rather retiring in his demeanor ; 
has never sought public notoriety, and has never aspired to office, 
and, like his father again, he holds allegiance to the Democratic 
party, though because of his views upon the financial question, 
he gave his vote to William McKinley for President, in opposition 
to William Jennings Bryan, for whom he has never voted. He 
takes a business man's interest in politics, and his votes are guided 
by his ideas of the policies which are best for the progress and 
prosperity of the country. 

In his religious views, Mr. Williamson is an Episcopalian. His 
membership is with Christ Church in Raleigh and he is a vestry- 
man in that church, of which his wife is also a member. His life 
has shown him to be a man with strong rehgious convictions and 
his influence is always on the side of morality and righteousness. 
He believes in adherence to principles, and a just consideration of 
the views of others. 


The ideal of life, as Mr. Williamson sees it, is one to be held in 
view by the young, for he has given this advice as an aid to young 
people who aim at success in life: "These things you should let 
guide you : honesty, kindness and justice to all above and below 
you, and add to these a determination to accomplish whatever 
you start to do. Have 'sticking' qualities. Let there be content- 
ment and satisfaction with your own lot. Let piety and morality 
be cardinal principles." 

Mr. Williamson married, on December i, 1897, Miss Sadie S. 
Tucker, daughter of the late Major R. S. Tucker, of Raleigh, and 
to them two children, a girl, Sadie Tucker, and a boy, William 
Holt Williamson, Jr., have been born, but the little girl has been 
called away. He is a home-loving man, and there, when not 
engaged in his business duties, he is to be found. He has strong 
friends, for his nature is such as to make these ; in social life he 
and his charming wife are the center of a circle of friends who 
find in them delightful companions, hospitable and warm-hearted. 

Mr. Williamson is a type of the younger men in North Carolina 
who are making the State prosperous, and when one considers his 
early environments and training it is no wonder that he has suc- 
ceeded. Energetic, able, trained, of the highest moral traits, he is 
a worker who deserves success, and he rightly takes his place as 
one of the real leaders in the industrial development of North 
Carolina and the South. 

B. S. Jennan. 


strove at all times to perform his duties well and acceptably. 
From early life he was subjected to the fine influence which Us 
mother exerted over his impressionable mind, developing him not 
only intellectually, but morally and spiritually as well. 

In his education his father was especially careful to select for 
him only the very best schools, and at the age of twelve years he 
was sent to Pantops Academy, near Charlottesville, Va. While 
there he made marked progress in his studies, was popular among 
his associates and teachers, and commanded the respect of all. 
After remaining at Pantops for several years, he was desirous of 
having thorough military training, and entered the celebrated 
Bingham School, then located at Mebane, N. C. The training 
which he received at this institution was very beneficial to him ; he 
soon became fond of promptly attending to every detail exacted 
by the military regulations. Upon leaving the Bingham School be 
entered the University of North Carolina, but feeling that a full 
collegiate course was not necessary to manufacture cotton goods 
successfully he did not remain to graduate. 

Upon leaving the State University he entered, in 1894, into the 
milling business with his father at the Ossipee Mills, and the 
latter, recognizing his business ability, three years later admitted 
him into the firm of James N. Williamson & Sons. He soon 
became secretary and treasurer, as well as general manager of 
the Ossipee Mills. His capacity, his careful attention to details, 
his observance of every business requirement, now made manifest 
his value as a manager, and that in this special line of work, 
which indeed was in harmony with his natural inclinations* he was 
among the most superior of the younger manufacturers of the 
State. By close attention to business he began to accumulate some 
money and soon after the Pilot Mills were erected in Raleigh he 
purchased from his father a fourth interest in these mills and is 
to-day vice-president of the Pilot Mills in Raleigh and president 
of the Hopedale Mills in Burlington, and has been successful 
with all. 

In addition to his milling interest, Mr. Williamson is a director 
in the Alamance Loan and Trust Company, Burlington* N. C»and 


in the American Trust Company, of Charlotte, and he possesses 
those qualities that give promise of great usefulness as a financier. 

While at the Bingham School, Mr, Williamson was a member 
of the Alpha Tan Omega Fraternity, and also at the University. 
Since becoming a practical manufacturer, at the solicitation of his 
operatives, he has become a member of the Junior Order of 
United American Mechanics, whose objects and purposes be en- 
tirely approves, and he thinks that the organization is calculated 
to be of beneBt to those concerned. 

Politically Mr. Williamson is an independent; he believes and 
advocates voting for the best man regardless of party. Nationally 
he is inclined to the Republican side, but regards Grover Cleve- 
land and President Roosevelt as the greatest presidents of his 

In early life Mr. Williamson connected himself with the Prej^- 
byterian Church, this being the faith of his family ; but after mar- 
riage, as his wife was an Episcopalian, recognizing the desirability 
of the household being of one faith, he united himself to the 
church of which his wife was a member, and is now n communi- 
cant of the Protestant Episcopal Church ; and although his busi- 
ness engagements largely occupy his time, he devotes attention to 
church affairs and is a member of the vestry of that church at 

On November 9, 1898, Mr. Williamson was happily married to 
Miss Mary Archer Saunders, of Richmond, Va., daughter of the 
late Mr. E. A. Saunders, of that city, a man of wealth and in- 
fluence, much respected and esteemed by the citizens of his city 
and State, and who was especially kind and considerate to the 
youn^ men of his city, many of whom by his means he gave a 
start in life. 

There have been born to Mr, and Mrs. Williamson two children, 
James Saunders Williamson and Mary Archer Williamson. 

He and his wife have loved to live at home. There their affec- 
tions have centered. While enjoying the social advantages of 
their condition in life, and the pleasures of intercourse with 
others, they arc particularly blessed in their home. But Mr. Wil- 



liamson finds time to manifest an interest in matters that oonoem 
the welfare of his community. He has been a promoter, not 
merely of those enterprises which tend to the advancement of 
Burlington, but also those that look to the improvement of Ala- 
mance County. Particularly has he fostered the movement for 
good roads in that county and generally in the State. Indeed' it 
may be said that every proposition that has for its object the 
upbuilding of the State attracts his attention and appeals to his 

5*. A. Ashe. 


I'MOKG the celebrated liiwyers in western North 
II Carolina of the olden time, the name of Joseph 
' Wilson stands preeminent. His ancestors on 
i the paternal side were Scotch; they came to 
' North Carolina about 1730. and settled in Per- 
^ quimans, near Edenton. William Wilson, of 
. family, moved first to Guilford County, then to Randolph 
CoiiiUy, wlit-re he married Eunice Worth. She was of English 
descent, and hkc himself was of the Society of Friends. Th^ 
were the parents of Joseph Wilson, the subject of this sketch, 
who was horn in 1782. His early education was directed by Rev. 
David Caldwell. He chose the profession of law and studied 
under Reuben Wood, a lawyer of note in Randolph County, whose 
daughter Mary he married. He was licensed to practice law in 
1804 and settled in Stokes County. By native talent, force of 
character and application, he soon rose to the uppermost ranks of 
his profession. He was elected to the legislature in 1810, 181 r, 
1812, and was distinguished as a firm advocate of American 
rights in the troubles and controversy then existing between this 
country and England. 

In 1812 he was elected solicitor of the mountain district, then 
embracing nearly the entire western part of the State. To the 
duties of this high office he devoted the remainder of his life, and 
won tlu' soubriquet of "the great sohcitor," an honor he justly 


merited, judging him by the estimate of his contemporaries and 
those acquainted with his work and accomplishment. After his 
election to the office of solicitor, he removed to Charlotte, and that 
town remained his home. 

In 1825, when party spirit was running high, he was pressed to 
become a candidate for the legislature, in Mecklenburg County, 
against Colonel Thomas G. Polk. He resigned the solicitorshlp 
and entered the canvass. He lost the election, but was reestab- 
lished in his office as solicitor by a unanimous vote of the 

In the first quarter of the nineteenth century a carnival of crime 
swept over the western part of the State. Conspiracies to rob, 
counterfeit and murder struck terror in all directkms. Their 
main object was counterfeiting, leading ultimately to other high 
crimes. In a region sparsely settled, where barter was more car- 
rent than coin, counterfeiting did not demoralize commerce and 
ordinary business transactions as perceptibly as now ; and conse- 
quently such infractions of law aroused less antagonism than they 
would have done at a later period. The work of the counterfeiter 
was silent, and its effect upon the body politic was more like the 
insidious entrance of malarial germs than the thunder of a mur- 
derer's gun, or an alarm for personal safety. Hence the difficulty 
of properly arousing public sentiment to a realization of the dan* 
gers that were sweeping through the moral structure of society. 
The task undertaken by Solicitor Wilson was a gigantic one, for 
opposition to the counterfeiter's schemes meant the enmity of a 
formidable class, upheld by secret members and an invisible net- 
work that extended no one knew exactly where. 

Frankly and fearlessly he marked a path that was straight, and 
firmly trod therein. Everywhere and on all occasions he heralded 
his mission: *To restore law and order." With a brave and 
trusty carriage driver, a strong team and ample law books, he 
entered the infected regions, and by his sole invincible power, 
acumen and tact brought the desperate chiefs to justice and thdr 
deluded associates to terms. 

His life was frequently threatened and sometimes attempted. 


The friends of a notorious criminal planned his murder. On this 
occasion Mr, Wilson was accompanied by a friend and servant, 
all three on horseback. The servant had dismounted to open a 
gate, when eight guns were fired at the same instant. The servant 
and friend fell. Mr. Wilson dismounted so hastily tlie assassins 
believed they had killed him. He was not even touched, but the 
friend and servant were sorely wounded. The ruse of a brother 
lawyer prevented another attempt. Mr. Wilson always wore a 
white hat. Friends of criminals lay in wait to kill him as he 
crossed the mountains. One of their noted attorneys obtained 
some intimation of their murderous design, purposely exchanged 
hats with Mr. Wilson, wore his white Itat on the dangerous jour- 
ney, deprived the would-be assassins of their mark of recognition 
at some risk to himself, and thus thwarted them. 

His life was threatened so often that the members of the Bar 
prevailed on him to go armed on his dangerous journeys and he 
secured a good brace of pistols ; but these weapons soon became 
an object of merriment. When questioned by the lawyers, he 
usually had to confess they were securely stowed away in his 
trunk and unloaded. One of these ancient firelocks is at this 
time a treasured heirloom of his great-grandson, Judge W. A. 
Hoke, now of our Supreme Court. 

While on this dangerous circuit, the letters to his wife were al- 
ways cheerful. In one he said, "My life is in the hands of Al- 
mighty God. He will take care of me, do not doubt it." Neither 
position nor wealth afforded any shield to the transgressor, but in 
Joseph Wilson the persecuted and oppressed had a friend. He 
entertained no hostility against individuals and had great com- 
passion even for criminals. While a relentless prosecutor, if he 
knew or could find men who habitually broke the law, he kindly 
admonished them: "I must prosecute you if you do not change 
your life." Again he wrote his wife: "How thankful we should 
be to Almighty God, to whose mercy we owe our better knowl- 
edge, our Christian education, our exemption from the tempta- 
tions which have surrounded these unhappy men." 

After an illness of but a few days, he died on August 27, 



1829, aged forty-seven years. He wrought well and left his 
impress on the annals of his country. He was one of the greatest 
advocates and prosecuting attorneys North Carolina ever pro- 
duced. His title to fame rests largely on his work as solidtor. 
Through his matchless resource and undaunted courage, Itgtl 
anarchy and contempt of law were succeeded by perfect obedience 
to the orders of the court and the laws of the country. 

He was a gentleman of fine culture and agreeable address; 
in social intercourse, genial and fascinating; as friend, true and 
unselfish ; in the home, tender and affectionate. He left no soo 
to perpetuate his name, but to this happy couple were bom four 
daughters; these grew into attractive and accomplished women. 
Catherine, the eldest, married William J. Alexander, of .Char- 
lotte, N. C, one of the first lawyers of his day, and long reigned 
supreme in the social circle. A daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alex- 
ander, Catharine, one of a family of daughters famed for in- 
tellect, beauty and accomplishments, became the wife of Colond 
John F. Hoke, of Lincolnton. The second daughter of Mr. VH- 
son, Laura, won the heart of Marshall Polk, the youngest brother 
of James Knox Polk, said to have been the brightest man of tiie 
name ; Roxanna married Dr. Pinckney Caldwell ; and Mary J. 
never married. 

A. Nixon. 


1 erring, yet shews she fam 

f HEN Barilett Yancey died ihe State of North 
Carolina, just beginning to realize fully his 
TL-atness, lost its moiit usefnl servant. He 
L'enied year by year to be developing and ripen- 
ip for the great work which his country had 
>r liim to do, and then in a moment, and as he 
\%';is i-nturin^' his )iriiiif. he died. 

His was a singularly well-rounded, well-balanced character. He 
w^as not a gcnnis ; Nature was not lavish in any single gift she be- 
stowed upon him : hut she brought them all in due quantity, blend- 
ed them together in one harmonious whole, and made of him a 
tnan whose whole life seemed to be guided by an intuitive per- 
ception of right and wrong and presided over by the genius of com- 
nion sense. 

The following personal facts in regard to the details of his 
career were furnished by his daughter, the late Mrs. Thomas J. 
VVomack, some fifteen years since, to Dr. Stephen B. Weeks and 
are here much condensed : Bartlett Yancey, the younger, was bom 
in Caswell County, M. C, February 19, 1785, at a place about six 
niiles south of the present Yanceyville, which was later named in 
his honor. His father, Bartlett Yancey, Sr., came to Caswell from 


Granville County. The family is of Welsh extraction, but were 
members of the Church of England, one of its ancestors being i 
clergyman in that communion. There were three brothers, Lonis, 
Henry and Richard, who came to America ; of these, two settkd 
in Virginia, and the third, presumably Louis, came to North Caio- 
lina, for the younger Bartlett was a great-great-grandson of Louis. 
The elder Bartlett married Nancy Graves, daughter of John Gisvcst 
who had come to what is now Caswell County from James Gtj 
County, Va., about 1740. The Graves family was long pronmient 
in the county, and one of the sons of John Graves, Captain John 
Herndon Graves, was a soldier in the Revolution, was at the battle 
of Guilford Court House, was wounded there and left for dead 
on the field. Bartlett, the elder, was a man of great oourage and 
decision of character ; he taught school for many years, as chronic 
rheumatism prevented his giving attention to the affairs of his 
farm. He died in October, 1784 ; Bartlett, the younger, was there- 
fore posthumous and the youngest of ten children. His dder 
brother, James Yancey, was at various times a member of tbe 
State legislature and did much to advance his educational inter- 
ests. He received his preliminary education in the co m mon 
schools of the neighborhood, began teaching at fif teen, was chosen 
assistant teacher in the Academy, in what was then known as die 
Court House, worked with Mr. Shaw as principal and c ont i n ne d 
under his direction in advanced studies. He then spent two yean 
at the University of North Carolina, but did not graduate for 
lack of means. He studied law with Archibald D. Mnrphef 
in Orange, was licensed about 1807, settled at what is nam 
Yanceyville and married his cousin. Miss Nancy Graves, Decem- 
ber 8, 1808. She was a woman of much force of character 
and survived him for many years, dying April 8, 1855, aged 

As a Laivyer. He commenced his professional life poor in 
this world's goods and comparatively unknown, but he waa mdni- 
trious, ambitious, persevering, and conscientious, and the pobBc; 
recognizing these qualities, soon came to his support I cannot 
do better than to give the estimate of one who knew him ndf 


throughout his whole professional career. Judge Nash said of 
him only a few days after hearing of his death : 

"It is now, I think, twenty years or more since my acquaintance with Mr. 
Yancey began. He was then just entered into the profession, young, un- 
known, and poor ; but by a steady attention to business »nd rigorous prosc- 
eution of his profession he soon built up tor himself both a name and a 
fortune. Though at the time of his death still a young man. we have all 
known him long as a high-minded honorable man and Uwyer. If by some 
he was excelled in the powers of reasoning, and Others in the graces of 
oratory, by none was he surpassed in that plain, practical good sense 
which rendered him eminently successful as a lawyer." 

At the time of his death Mr, Yancey was still a growing law- 
yer. He had not yet attained that fulness of stature which would 
have come to him as he grew older had his life been spared. Dur- 
ing the last few years of his life, however, he was much sought as 
an attorney, and the dockets of the courts show Ihal when in any 
important case Mr. Badger was secured by one side. Mr. Yancey 
was secured by the other. Before a jury in the section in which 
he lived he was almost invincible. It is said : 

■He was a most energetic and powerful debater. Blessed with a manly 
person, an observant and active mind, a well-regulated and harmonious 
voice, there was a resistless impetuosity and vehemence in his efforts 
that bore down like an avalanche every opposition." 

The practice of law was, however, to him only a means to an 
end. He wished to become independent and place his family be- 
yond the possibility of want, that he might return to public life. 
If liis life had been spared twenty-five years more, it is not at all 
extravagant to assert that he would have become one of the great 
statesmen of the country. 

His Public Life. 1 shall let Judge Nash speak again as to 

"In a short lime after he had been in the practice of the law the 
district in which he resided chose him as its representative in the 
Congress of the United Slates, and here he took a high and dis- 



tinguished station. His practical talents soon bronght him forward 
and placed him at the head of one of the most important '■*wimiitt*»y 
of the House of Representatives. This station he continued to oociqqr 
while a member of the House. But in a few years he was admonished 
that, however alluring the path of political life might be, it did not 
lead in this country to wealth, and that the time had not arrhred to 
him when justice to his family would permit him to devote hiosdf 
to the general politics of the country. He resigned hb seat in God- 
gress, returned to the discharge of his professional duties, and never, 
I believe, in this country did more abundant success crown the efforti 
of any individual. Though his private affairs drew him from CoogreNk 
they did not prevent him taking an active share in the domestic poGtiei 
of his native State. At the united voice of the citizens of CaswdL 
the county in which he was born and raised, he took his seat in Ae 
senate of our legislature, and was upon his appearance among them 
with one voice called to preside over its deliberations. As speaker 
of the senate Bartlett Yancey was in his appropriate sphere. Natore 
had in a peculiar manner fitted him for the station. Dignified in his 
appearance, he filled the chair with grace; prompt to decide, litde 
time was lost in debating questions referred to the speaker; energetic 
in enforcing order, the most unruly became obedient; fair, candid aad 
impartial, all were satisfied — so entirely so that from the period of hil 
first election no effort was once made to disturb his possession of tiie 
chair. Even those who in other respects differed from and opposed 
him admitted that as a speaker he was without reproach. But it was 
not alone as speaker of the senate that Mr. Yancey as legislator was 
useful to his native State. He was too sound a politician not to per- 
ceive the true policy of the State. Ardently attached to the land of 
his birth, his constant effort was to elevate her in the moral and 
political scale. Whenever a measure was brought before the legisla- 
ture which in his estimation had these objects in view, he fearlessly 
threw himself and all his weight of character into the ranks of its 
friends, and with as full contempt of consequences he never failed to 
frown upon and oppose all those wild measures of misrule which have 
from time to time agitated the legislature of our State." 

One of the most remarkable features of Mr. Yancey's character 
was the confidence, in many instances warm friendship, that he 
inspired among all his associates of all shades of opinion. He 
served two terms in Congress, from 1813 to i8i7» the Thirteentli 
and Fourteenth congresses. It is said that at his second dectioo 
there was only one vote cast against him in CaswdL In Congress 


he was in an especial manner the friend of Clay, Calhoun, and 
Macon. Mr. Clay, who was speaker during part of each of his 
terms, recognized his ability as a presiding officer by calling him 
frequently to the chair. He was a friend to Mr. Calhoun to the 
ettent of wanting him to be elected president in 1824, but he had 
no opportunity to vote for him, and having none, supported Craw- 
lord. Mr. Macon had a very sincere admiration and high regard 
for him. He tells him in one of his letters: "You liave proved 
yourself to be really great in the National Legislature." And 
again : "Let not the love of improvement or thirst for glory blind 
that sober discretion and sound sense with which the Lord has 
blessed you." (This because Mr. Yancey was inclined to believe 
that the Constitution authorized public improvements by the Fed- 
eral Government.) "Paul was not more anxious and sincere con- 
cerning Timothy than I am for you." 

The War of 1812 had begun when he took his seat in Congress. 
He did all he could as legislator to sustain the .American cause, the 
justice of which is now admitted by all men. 

When a young and struggling lawyer he had married Nancy, 
daughter of John Graves, an officer of the Revolution. His fam- 
fly was increasing, he was poor, and the compensation of a Con- 
gressman ($6 a day during his first term and $1,500 per annum 
during his second) was wholly inadequate to the support of his 
family, so in justice to that family he retired from Congress and 
devoted himself wholly to his profession. In 1818 Governor 
Branch offered him the appointment as judge of the superior 
court. This he likewise declined from inadequacy of salary. In 
1817 he was elected senator from Caswell, and as soon as he ap- 
peared in the senate was made speaker of that body without a 
dissenting voice, and so continued by successive and unopposed 
elections until his death. 

As legislator he was identified with the adoption of our present 
Supreme Court system, the systematization of the treasury depart- 
ment, the creation of the public school fund, and the movement 
for internal improvements. He was an early and persistent ad- 
vocate for the amendment of the Constitution of 1776, particularly 


with reference to representation in the General Assembly. Under 
that instrument each county had one senator and two represcBKa- 
tives, regardless of size or population. This created an ineqiuihy 
between large and small counties that demanded a remedy. Tint 
is an illustration : In 1820 the population of Washington, JooM, 
Greene, Chowan, Columbus, Brunswick, Tyrrell, Martin, Leooir, 
Hyde, Gates, and Carteret Counties was 38,037, while that of 
Rowan and Orange was 37,967. The latter counties had six Rei^- 
resentatives, while the former had thirty-six, exclusive, of coane, 
of boroughs. This manifest inequality in representation was tbe 
basis of a long-continued agitation, which assumed definite form 
in the General Assembly of 1821 by the introduction of resolu- 
tions demanding the submission of the question of convention or 
no convention to the people. After a long and able discussion in 
the house of commons the resolutions were defeated by a major- 
ity of thirty-four. In the Senate there was no discussion, and the 
majority against them was thirteen. The advocates of revision, 
however, were not discouraged by this. The whole western part 
of the State was too vitally interested for it to be quiescent under 
one defeat. A convention of members from that section was 
held in Raleigh, June 4, 1823, to protest against existing condi- 
tions, and Mr. Yancey was called to preside over it. Nothing^ 
definite was, however, accomplished until 1834 — a remarkable in- 
stance of conserv-atism in the face of a manifest wrong. 

In 1826 President Adams offered Mr. Yancey the appoint- 
ment of minister to Peru. Mr. Macon thought it an attempt to 
make an inroad upon Mr. Crawford's followers. However tfiis 
may be, Mr. Yancey declined the appointment without hesitation. 

On Sunday, August 31, 1828, he, after a very brief illness, 
died in the forty-third year of his age. Says Wheeler : 

''His death, so unexpected, caused a sensation throughout the whole 
State which, even at this distant day, is painfully remembered. AD 
eyes had been turned to him as the appropriate sacoessor to Gov e rnor 
Branch in the Senate of the United States." 

It was indeed one of those inscrutible providences which 


make man in his ignorance and weakness so helpless in the 
hands of the Infinite. 

There were two sons and five daughters of man 
Nancy Graves : Rufus Augustus, who died uni r 3n 

leaving the University ; Algernon Sidney, who c at 

Frances, who married Henry McAden, M.D., 
of whom were prominent; Mary, who man d G 
Ann, who married Mr. Womack of Caswell ; G A 
ried Lemuel Mebane of Caswell, and Virgii 
George W. Swepson. 

Authorities — Sprunt, Historical Monograph No. 2; 
temporary newspapers; County Records at Hillsboro j < 

/. G De Ri 

» i* 


*' il 






1 1 












J' 1 



i i